Typhoeus – Black Rivers Of The Serpent Dragon

(Self-Released, 2013)

The songs on this Demo-album are made between 2007 and 2011, although very similar in sound and nature, and sounding like they were made fifteen years earlier.

The first song “Eleusis” starts with a very Ambient-like intro of piano- and string-sounds, reminding a bit of the Ambient songs of old Burzum-albums (but not quite as monotonous and simple as those), before switching to highly nineties-sounding Black Metal of changing speeds. The best way to describe the music is a combination of bands like old Emperor, Burzum, Thorns, Manes, Strid, etc. which means this stuff sounds very Norse indeed. The vocals and synths (mostly) sound especially nineties, like taken straight from Emperor’s early works.

The second song “Blood Under Fullmoon” features an intro which reminds of Martial Neoclassical bands like Arditi or Der Blutharsch, but soon switches to quite groovy and technical Black Metal, a bit different from the first song, but still clearly the same band, although made apparently two years apart. There are also more melodic guitar-riffs to be heard here, and spoken vocal-parts bringing to my mind the demos of Manes.

The next three songs “The Black River Of The Serpent Dragon” (featuring an acoustic and percussive part), “Storm Of A Thousand Swords” (with it’s atmospheric intro of cool humming and speech having a bit better sound compared to the rest of the song, and featuring first growling vox of the album) and “Wandering In The Path Of Lycaon” (which is an awesome Ambient song with ethereal synths echoing and winds blowing straight from the beginnings of Second Wave Black Metal) continue mostly along the same lines as the first two songs, making this album a solid and steady quality work of art as a whole.

The overall quality of sounds on this album is very good in that nineties way, and there are many awesome memorable riffs and melodies among the highly entertaining songs.

This stuff is a must for all into the early- and mid-nineties Norwegian sound. These songs don’t sound like they’re “inspired” by that era, more like they’re actually made in that era. A wonderful nostalgia-trip for us who we’re into Black Metal during those times when it was all new and special. In the same way this album seems fresh and special today, compared to the more popular styles of Black Metal around now.

8/10 – Antti Mikonmäki

Typhoeus (Facebook)

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