It’s fitting that there is a track on this latest effort from Texan black metal veterans Krigsgrav called Journeyman, because that’ve just what these three men do on the record – take you on a journey.

It’s more of a yomp than a serene processional of course – these blokes really know how to put the listener through the emotional ringer – but nevertheless, a journey it is, across the bleakest and most damaged recesses of the human spirit. That said, there’s something strangely uplifting in the cold melodies that lie littered like so many corpses upon the Krigsgrav landscape; Opening track An Everflowing Vessel is epic in every sense of the world, welcoming you in with weary hospitality, ready to share it’s woes with whoever is ready to listen.

You’ll find you are ready, though, as the band unfurl their cinematic themes and pummeling rhythms over the course of fifty three minutes of truly irresistible, dark music. Black metal is obviously the touchstone here, but there is so much more to Krigsgrav beyond ‘just’ the healthy doses of sturm und drang. These blokes may be from the Southern States of the US, but there’s an otherworldly remoteness to their sound that could only come from those areas adjacent to the Northern wastes of the Arctic Circle. In saying that, Krigsgrav’s sound is as pure as you like, an unforced purging of the emotions that places itself at the centre of wherever you happen to be, rather than making black metal some notional ‘idea of North’. This is intensely personal music, as affecting as it is effective, removed from notions of place and time so that it simply ‘is’. And it fills your personal space with a totality that is quite wondrous at times.

All this being the case, it might be tempting to over think things a little at the expense of simply banging one’s head to the glorious pomposity of, say, third track The World We Leave Behind, which is frankly as good a piece of heads down heavy metal as I’ve heard all year; simple, direct and ultimately hugely satisfying, Krigsgrav can be taken on many levels and enjoyed on them all. If Head music as a full-contact sport is a concept you can get behind, then let me introduce you to your new favourite album…

Fires In The Fall releases on June 23rd