Two thirds of Astrophobos (project leader and guitarist Martin Andersson and Micke Broman on vocals and bass) have teamed up with drummer David Folchitto (Fleshgod Apocalypse) for a delightful four track snack of classic Swedish melodic black metal.

It all starts with A Dirge for the Damned which opens with a rather jaunty drum pattern before the guitars and bass add some black meat to the bones of the percussion. Then it’s on for young and old with a more traditional arrangement. The sound is rather clean and the vocals most raspy, and it’s definitely Swedish melodic black metal. Perhaps because of the cleaner production values – and most certainly because it’s melodic – while it’s heavy, it doesn’t come across as massively skull-crushingly heavy.

The tremolo picking beloved of all black metal irrespective of genre is to the fore and I’m loving the drums which have mutated into a blasting beast of magnificent proportions. You can definitely hear Folchitto’s signature skins work with some crisp cymbals cutting through the gloom. Rites of the Inner Shrine is next – and does it seem to be getting darker and colder in here? There’s more magnificent drumming and a catchy guitar riff but I do want more bass. It’s obvious that Andersson and Broman work well together.

Given that this is a four track, we’re suddenly half way through as we launch into the ascending/descending riffage of title track Death’s Omnipotence – perhaps my favourite on here. The guitars are murky and fuzzed out – and those drums again. My Word! Final track Shadows Etched in Stone is slow, head-noddingly, horn-throwing slow, before switching to a hyper-tempo, fast-as-you-please speeding beast, and I’m right into it – which is good sign because I’m not a huge melodic black metal fan, Swedish or other.

Suddenly it’s all over and I’m left feeling oddly bereft and hungry for more, and surely that’s a good thing?

Death’s Omnipotence is Out Now