If you listen to Sentinel Daily Radio, especially in the crepuscular hours, you’ll probably have come across UK black metal troupe Ninkharsag before; we do like a bit of old school black metal as you well know, and it’s not uncommon to hear tracks from the band’s debut album The Blood Of Celestial Kings rending the night air in blood thirsty fashion. But will any selections from their upcoming second album, The Dread March of Solemn Gods, make it on to our future programming?
If I was a betting man, I’d be willing to risk a few quid on that being the case. Because if songs from that first album were good enough to make the cut, then there’s no doubt thunderous efforts like The Necromanteion will be. Ninkharsag go to town on tracks like this and Under The Dead of Night; and yes, there are large parts of these tracks – especially the latter – that’ll have you wondering whether they weren’t something to do with Dissection in another life, but at the end of the day that comforting familiarity is all part of the fun. And you can accuse these lads of being derivative all you like – the fact remains they do what they do very well, with the sort of grim-faced joie de vivre only ever found in the truly faithful black metal accolyte.
Discipline Through Black Sorcery is another highlight, harnessing some truly frightening buzzsaw riffage from Kyle Nesbitt and Paul Armitstead that calls to mind Cradle of Filth at their least florid and most punkily primal; Nesbitt also unleashes some of his most convincing vocals on this track, the result being that it’s probably the most well-rounded and appealing track on offer here.
There’s plenty of solid competition though, with each track throwing up something worthy of comment and commendation. Even when the band reins things in a little – The Tower Of Perpetual Twilight’s stop-start nature facilitates a more dynamic approach and allows the lead guitars a bit more room to breathe, for instance – they make the slight change of pace count and in doing so double the impact of the songwriting. As noted above, it’s all very well done.
So, if traditional black metal with strong ‘proper’ heavy metal influences is the sort of thing you’re interested in, I’d suggest you get yourself an earful of this soonest. You won’t regret it, I guarantee!
The Dread March of Solemn Gods releases on April 30th.