Ashencult + Mephorash – Opus Serpens

Bringing together two opposing sides of the current black metal trend, Opus Serpens pits Philadelphia’s Ashencult against Sweden’s Mephorash and while both bands revel in the darkness and the occult, their approaches differ in both scope and sound. Ashencult are a  force of fast, thrashy moments and Mephorash dabble in more symphonic and powerful nuances.

They’re both pretty into Satan though. AVE.


Ashencult’s offering, “My Tenth Death” is a spry and atmospheric cut of towering USBM. Taking a subtle route into the beginnings of the song, Ashencult utilise unknown sounds to build dread before a huge guitar strike cuts through the shadows to lead the track into deeply melodic and possessive blackness. A furious pace abounds and the band writhe in a wonderful joy that’s almost ecstatic with the chaos they’ve created. Vocalist A (yeah, they’re one of those bands), strives for total annhiliation throughout his performance and the complete belief in the words flows from him in waves of utter respect. “My Tenth Death” ends how it began and Ashencult continue to prove that they are the future of the American sound.

Mephorash channel the spiritual essence of darkness with “Atramentous Ungod Suspect” and the inclusion of Acherontas V. Priest (of Acherontas, duh) on guest vocals lends the piece a feeling of next level unholiness. The initial steps of the track are terrifically overblown and the piece starts life as a homage to horror films of old, all organs and choral vocals, before the classic Swedish sound permeates the clouds and Mephorash command attention with slightly hidden bellows that soon become high rasps and roars. Synth-led sections add a new dimension of chanted vocal in order to lift Mephorash into new circles of hell and Acherontas V. Priest pushes his ritualistic vibrations into sight which allows the band to strike an all-knowing presence over proceedings. Mephorash invoke a dark and elemental reality and as such they should be watched closely.

 Opus Serpens can be ordered from Unholy Anarchy or streamed on their bandcamp.

Kvlt Albvm Ov The Weak

Thorns. You might have heard of this band. And if you haven’t, I can’t help but wonder what exactly you’ve been doing with your life.

I’ve done some very in depth research to prove to myself that this is not a band a lot of people know of and learnt that over the past week, the most played Thorns track scrobbled to had 63 plays. Whereas say, Emperor (check out the Emperor/Thorns split), has 645. Yet Thorns are a highly influential band, black metal through and through. So kvlt that they’ve only released one full length record in the twenty plus years since their inception. Probably because founder Blackthorn (Snorre) was imprisoned for eight years for his hand in the infamous murder of Mayhem guitarist Euronymous. If you can track down the early Thorns demos from a time when they were still called Stigma Diabolicum, then do. For no reason other than they’re excellent. Which is reason enough, right ?

1. Existence

2. World Playground Deceit

3. Shifting Channels

4. Stellar Master Elite

5. Underneath The Universe A

6. Underneath The Universe B

7. Interface To God

8. Vortex

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Kvlt Albvm Ov The Weak

I thought it might be interesting to do a regular “album of the week” update. No, that isn’t a typo up there. It’s a funny joke !

Considering most of the albums I’ll talk about are likely to be my album of the week anyway, these posts will mainly be about a classic album, or an album that’s been around for a little while too long to really count as new anymore. How fun !

I hope you realise that my use of the term “kvlt” is all in jest. Because, I’m sorry to say, this won’t be week upon week of chat about second wave black metal. Incidentally, this is the top voted definition of kvlt on

Epitomising the musical ideals of sub-underground black metal – the kind of stuff that comes out in limited editions of 300 through vinyl-only labels based in a cave in Belarus. The exact requirements of kvltness vary depending on who you talk to, but usually involve icy, impenetrable production, black-and-white cover art, and concepts drawn from black magic, pagan myths or out-and-out nihilism.

Sounds about right. Although the term kvlt is now used in a kind of derogatory way. I’m sure you know what I mean.

This week then, it’s the turn of the almighty Darkthrone. I think, possibly, they’re my favourite black metal band and this particular album is the one that finally turned me onto the musical path I’ve taken. So I guess I can place the blame firmly at the feet of Ted and Gylve. I hope they don’t mind.

The album in question is Transilvanian Hunger. And is quite rightly considered a classic of the genre and is a prime example of the famous “necro” sound. Look at how grim this cover is.

1. Transilvanian Hunger

2. Over Fjell Og gjennom Torner

3. Skald Av Satans Sol

4. Slottet I Det Fjerne

5. Graven Takeheimens Saler

6. I En Hall Med Flesk Og Mjød

7. As Flittermice As Satans Spys

8. En As i Dype Skogen

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