SETHERIAL – Endtime Divine

After a few line-up changes and a quick switch in labels, SETHERIAL are back to settle the score with anyone and everyone that stands in their way. Even though MARDUK remain the kings of over-the top blasting black metal, SETHERIAL aren’t making things easy for them, with the band breathing down the necks of the aforementioned with urgency and conviction. Drummer Mysteriis leads the charge on opener “Crimson Manifestation” with non-stop blastbeats and double-bass that begin the moment the listener presses play. The aggressive attack continues throughout the remaining eight tracks there are absolutely no breaks or sappy, melodic interludes to stop the relentless barrage of blastbeats and blindingly fast tremolo guitar riffs. Wrathyr‘s harsh, venomous screams evoke tales of the underworld, suicide, damnation, and all things grim and evil. Although the band offers no respite from the battery, songs such as “Of Suicide,” “Entity of Night” and the title track still manage to create an atmosphere of cold, sinister darkness. If there’s any downside to the album, it’s the fact that the songs have the tendency to bleed into one another, leaving the listener wondering what the hell just happened. But Endtime Divine isn’t about catchy songs or hit singles, but another example of how bleak, unrelenting Swedish black metal should be played. (Regain/The End Records)

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