Realm of Wolves are a new name to your correspondent. Hailing from Hungary, Oblivion is their first full-length album release and follows on from an EP, entitled Shores of Nothingness. This was released in 2016.

Musically, the three members of the band cover a lot of territory on Oblivion. Taking a basic black metal template, they add a plethora of influence to this including post rock, melodic death metal and ambient music. Folk influence is also detected yet remains unobtrusive in the overall feel created. However, there is a cohesiveness to the overall sound often missing in the work of artists of this ilk. Thus, pastiche or unwitting parody is avoided.

Songs are clear cut and precisely executed. The band uses the device of instrumental interludes to break up the sometimes slightly overwrought feel of the major pieces. The semi-eponymous title track, Into the Woods of Oblivion, works best in the reviewer’s opinion; here the band make music at it’s most faithful to the tropes of traditional black metal. However, this is not art concerned with the effect of undiluted power or senseless sonic onslaught. At times the artist seems almost too ready to hold back from the abyss of devastation, too eager to insert bucolic melody at the expense of icily precise aural overkill.

This, of course, is merely the personal taste of the reviewer intruding upon the art of the progenitors. Whatever the feeling of the listener, it is inarguable that the music presented works on every level. The sum of the parts is always greater than the individual worth of those parts. Ultimately this is a work thoroughly thought through by those responsible for it. Oblivion is an album steeped in blackened beauty, varied enough to appeal to accolytes of names as seemingly diverse as Opeth and Immortal. And as such the reviewer has no hesitation in recommending this album to readers of this magazine wholeheartedly.

Oblivion is out now.