THORNSPAWN / VARATHRON/ BLACK ALTAR
Emissaries of the Darkened Call - Three Nails in the Coffin of Humanity (split 2012) By xDemoNx

The release of a split album with the participation of three legendary bands, of the Greek Varathron, of the Polish Black Altar and of the American Thornspawn, it can only draw the attention of the fans. So this split was released in 2012 and it contains an introduction and three compositions by Black Altar, two of their own tracks and a cover of Ancient Warrior of Black Sabbath by Varathron and four by Thornspawn. The question that will come to someone’s lips is whether it is possible, three quite different bands being able to present their works in an album without that one sounding like an album with no connection between the bands.

The album begins with the compositions of Black Altar who have planned and offered a full mini album. It starts with an atmospheric ambient introduction and it goes on with the music being into the well-known style of Black Altar, that is dark, threatening, heavy and fast Black Metal. The riffs are fast, tremolo riffs with a lot of disharmonic parts and dark, solid outbursts. The structure of the tracks is flawless, with changes, beautiful passages, intense atmosphere and sentiments and vivid images. The instruments are played with accuracy and passion while the vocals are harsh and dirty, somehow more monotonous than those that I would want. The sound result of the part of Black Altar is quite dark, heavy and bass and it absolutely fits to the compositions. The lyrics are written in English and they describe dark stories of murder, demons and the hatred towards human race.

The album continues with Varathron who had disappointed with their previous bad released. However, the material that they present here has a fresh point of view and shows that they walk into paths of renewal. For sure also here they maintain their classic character with the heavy, solid riffs and the heavy dark atmosphere, but here we will also find fast riffs of Scandinavian school, chaotic outbursts, while the element that will draw the listener’s attention is the oriental and folk elements that they have added. The tracks are very interesting, with very good structure and perfect deliverance of the feelings and the atmosphere to the listener. The production is clean, slightly bass while the mixture is quite balanced and it highlights all the instruments to which they have done a really good job. The lyrics are written in English and they speak about demons with that occult character of the lyrics of Necroabyssious.

At the end of the album we come across four tracks of Thornspawn. As always the band is devoted to the old, barbarian sound of the early ’90ies, so here too it continues into that same style. Fast rhythm, barbarian, without any technicality into riffing, full of violence and hate. The band serves this style from its beginning and it does that very well by creating compositions with very good structure, interesting riffs and intense feelings of hate. Here the production puts out a very dirty sound, it has nothing in common with the previous bands, something that shows that the band is born and stuck to the early ’90ies regarding every aspect. The lyrics are written in English and they speak of demons and hate.

So, in order to answer the question asked in the beginning, “Emissaries of the Darkened Call - Three Nails in the Coffin of Humanity” manages to present three works of different style, giving three different aspects of Black Metal without being created any problem. The love, of the old school perception of Black Metal, the long experience and the talent that distinguishes the musicians who participate in the album, unite their works and make them coexist harmoniously within the same album. Apart from that both individually every band has offered interesting material that it worth to listen. Buy with no fear.

1. Black Altar - Intro 01:09
2. Black Altar - Nighthunter 04:17
3. Black Altar - I'm Demon 03:32
4. Black Altar - Deep Cut into the Open Wound of Mankind 05:37
5. Varathron - Arawn's Reign 05:59
6. Varathron - Black Swamp 06:13
7. Varathron - Ancient Warrior (Black Sabbath cover) 05:54
8. Thornspawn - Baphobanner (Flag of Horror) 02:51
9. Thornspawn - Deceased Divinity (Pious Pulpit Burnt to Ashes) 02:56
10. Thornspawn - Deathlust 03:35
11. Thornspawn - Thorns of Black Spawned from the Altars of Northrav 02:38