For all the chat in the press blurb for AHFATG about growth, fluidity and evolution, at first glance track titles like Cold, Total Fucking Hell and Self-Destruct For Satan might suggest otherwise… As ever, when two polar opposites are presented, the truth lies somewhere between the two – and thus it is with the latest album from Aussie black metal outfit Demogorgon.

For many non-com observers, progress isn’t necessarily a welcome thing in the world of stripped-back, hateful black metal, So Demorgorgon (and I’m talking about the man himself here as opposed to ‘the band’) wisely tempers any real ‘progression’ within tracks like Soul Blight so as to be easily digestible to long-term acolytes. The Cronosisms that usher in the early Hellhammer part at the end section of the song will set a smile alight on the face of traditionalists for sure, as will the sweeping instrumental section that closes it that manages to marry melodicism with brutality without sacrificing anything on either side. A lot of thought has been put into this growth in terms of song writing, and it definitely pays dividends here.

There’s definitely less sturm und drang in evidence on this album in comparison to preceding effort You Are Worthless And I Want You Dead, though the intensity of purpose and delivery remains strong whatever is going on. Light’s Bane, a sub-arctic articulation of intent if ever there was one, crawls along early doors before hitting ramming speed (briefly) at the four minute mark,  receding back into the primordial sludge and then rallying again for a final hurrah, and this introduction of agile, dynamic arrangement really kicks the song up a few notches. If this is progression and evolution, count me in!

Enjoyment isn’t a term to be bandied about loosely with reference to this type of music, but I have to say that this is the most enjoyable Demogorgon album I’ve yet had the pleasure of encountering. It’s a name that’s definitely on the up if this release is anything to go by, and you should definitely have a dig around in it if intelligent, well-put together black metal is something that interests you…

A Hate For All That Grows is out now.