Release DetailsLABEL Battle Kommand Records
RELEASED ON 2/13/2006
posted on 5/2006 By:
Sapthuran: Ah, this is truly the very best kind of modern black metal. Instead of taking the droning approach employed by much of the scene, Sapthuran’s sound is built upon riffs, making the band’s side of the split far more immediate than many of its contemporaries. Black metal is a very esoteric genre, and it is often hard to describe the sort of impact that a good band can make upon the listener without resorting to analogies and metaphors. With that disclaimer in mind, let me liken this band’s music to a stormy ocean voyage. The band’s style conveys a sense of movement, with the fairly sloppy drumming serving as a definite plus, adding a sense of decrepitude and decay that is also enhanced by the decidedly lo-fi production; imagine the longboat that is the band being buffeted by waves and winds. As I have often said before, black metal is best judged on its emotional impact, and the work of this band is replete with feeling. Though the production and musicianship are not amazing, Sapthuran manages to create an extremely appealing musical tapestry. And to think, I thought this would be the weak side of the split!
Leviathan’s tracks serve as an excellent contrast to Sapthuran’s. The differences in vocal style were the first things that struck me: while Sapthuran’s vocals are higher and fraught with static, Leviathan’s are lower and more phlegm-clogged. Other differences soon became obvious; Leviathan takes a more aggressive approach to the genre, utilizing riffs that are less melodic and arrangements that are more progressive. Wrest, Leviathan’s sole member, succeeds in creating compositions of epic scope despite his technical limitations. The music resembles a more focused and more serious version of Judas Iscariot, managing to be both densely atmospheric and musically immediate. Despite their differences, Leviathan and Sapthuran are virtually identical in terms of their respective abilities regarding musicianship and songwriting, and the production also matches up more or less.
The bottom line is that this is a quality snapshot of two of the USBM scene’s most interesting artists. Nigel Hipsters need not apply!
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