There’s been so much talk about the end of the world lately. I think we’ve referenced it about a dozen times so far just in opening paragraphs on this site. With everything that’s going on, and all of the worldwide chaos bleeding from every corner, it’s easy to think that we’re not far away from everything being torn apart.
That scenario suits Vancouver-based black metal entity Kafirun just fine, as their cataclysmic debut full-length “Eschaton” can attest. Things are not good, and death is breathing down our necks, looking to bring about the extermination of existence in order for the world to enter its new phase. Let’s face it: This place probably would be a lot better off without us, as we tend to be an obnoxious, greedy, destructive, selfish, loathsome bunch. To put these concepts in the right setting, the band launches into a tirade of disorienting, madness-inducing passages that constantly feel as if they’re pulling against your will and destroying your psyche. The band—vocalist Luzifaust, guitarist Hanephi, bassist Hypnocrotizer—has been dwelling in the darkness ever since their formation three years, and they already have a couple of EPs (we covered the Sol y Nieve cassette reissue of “Death Worship”), a compilation, and a split to their name. This thunderous seven-track full-length takes their campaign of death to the next phase, even beyond the cessation of life.
“Lord of Blessed Murder” opens the album violently, as sounds cascade, and harsh growls hammer everything. Melodies swim in the black metal murk, as shadows spread, creaky moans are unleashed, and the track comes to a devastating end. The title cut has a hypnotic opening, with the pace dizzying, and the growls menacing. The sounds churn and the drums blast, as the pace storms forward, and gurgly growls mix with weirds chants. The song comes to a brief halt before the cut ravages again, and the end comes to a mesmerizing finish. “Omega Serpent” has guitars stinging before the rains return and flood the ground. The track is punishing and melodic, with nails falling from the sky and crushing the ground, maintaining the intensity until the song fades out.
“Divine Providence” has murky guitars spinning before things open and start swelling. Ferocious vocals and blistering melodies erupt, as speed and heaviness collide and present danger, and the band hits a relentless pace. The track then hits sludge and drubs hard, with the track plodding with a fury to its end. “Prophetic Death Trance” is gut-wrenching and bloody, with a slashing fury arriving and the melodies stirring. The track builds on chaos, as the guitars charge, and the song blasts away. “Ephemerality of the Flash” is the longest song at 8:33, as things start in heavy hypnosis before a furious attack begins. Their dripping black metal makes the room spin out of control, as feral calls race out into the night, and then clean guitars settle and provide a cool breeze. That’s a brief reprieve as the band hits high gear again and destroys with heavy bruising. Closer “Omnipresence” has an eerie start before the drums take off, and the melodies begin stirring. The pace is mind-numbing, as roared growls and throat buzz send shivers, and the band finds another level of madness. Guitars become tornadic and threatening before the devastating, emotional final moments shroud everything with smoke.
Kafirun’s vision might be a lot closer than we think, making “Eschaton” something of a visionary document. Or it could just be a grim reminder of what could be on our horizon. Their approach to their craft isn’t terribly conventional and could leave your head a winding, throbbing mess. What better way to face your fate than with your body and brain ravaged, leaving you little choice but to submit?
For more on the band, go here: http://www.kafirun.ca/
To buy the album, go here: https://shop.seancerecords.com/
For more on the label, go here: http://www.seancerecords.com/