Chaos and terror are pretty reliable ingredients to most black metal, not that you can’t play the stuff without those things. But this form of metal is based on those elements and constantly feed off them, so when both things are present in a band’s style, you’re already off to a good start.
Of course, some bands merely pay lip service to those things and pile manufactured darkness on top of hollow sound. Luckily, Belgian horde Kosmokrator are not pretenders, and their debut recording “To the Svmmit” is evidence of their danger. Those who scour the underground may have come across this three-track collection in 2014 when it first was released by the band as a demo. Now, Van Records is bringing the band and this collection into greater awareness by reissuing these hellish pieces that are churning, noisy, and fairly terrifying.
“To the Svmmit” is the only recording to this band’s credit, and it’s difficult to learn much more about the group as they keep a rather low profile and don’t disseminate a ton of information about their goings on. What we do know is the folks comprising this band–vocalist J, guitarists C.M. and M, bassist T., drummer E–is that they sound like they’re creating a vortex of horrors. They let the darkness simmer and build, creeping you out and making you feel like you’re in imminent danger throughout these 29 minutes. There are spooky intentions, hellish transmissions, and enough smoke to coat your lungs as they drub you over and over again.
The record opens with “Ad Alta Ad Astra,” a 12:08 track that takes some time to fully unfurl. Chants bubble, while choral sections add a hint of beauty to the cut, and the doom bells pave way for Armageddon, which strikes with the mucky guitars and weird melodies. Dark growls settle into the mix, as grim churning arrives and the band’s playing absolutely clobbers you. Some gazey melodies settle in and mix with the carnage, while detached voices echo and the song fades out. “Adoration of He Who Is Upon the Blackest of Thrones” almost takes longer to say (and type) than to absorb. The 5:25 crusher destroys and pays zero attention to your aggravated wounds, as it hammers heavily and smears its chaos. The song is vicious and oppressive, and it mauls the hell out of you until it swirls out into the mire.
Closer “Sermon of the Seven Suns” runs 11:36 and opens with a quiet rumble, like an oncoming storm sitting over the horizon before it sets in on you. Whispers trickle and the riffs finally open, with the band set on clubbing you and the vocals concentrating on pure terror. The riffs burn and lead into speedy fury, with the band thrashing and clobbering and any hint of settling only setting up the next eruption. Noise hovers and the playing melts away at you, as the sounds begin to subside, a fire begins to crackle, and bleeding guitars sit underneath the horrors that flood and bleed away like waters rushing.
Kosmokrator should find more eager, willing ears as “To the Svmmit” spreads across to more listeners and sickens them with its ways. These songs can haunt and destroy the senses all at once, and Kosmokrator sound like a band that could become one that deserves our attention moving forward. Now, to see what they can do with a full-length album.
For more on the band, go here: https://kosmokrator-vanrecords.bandcamp.com/
To buy the album, go here: http://www.van-records.de/
For more on the label, go here: https://www.facebook.com/vanrecs