Evoken / Beneath The Frozen Soil 'Split' review

Split CD
(I Hate Records)

Well going on nearly two decades after their inception. The doomy masters Evoken continue to steamroll across the landscape like a creeping fog. I see Dave Wagner is now part of the band. I know Dave's work well as I am a fan of his other bands Abazagorath and Funebrarum. Evoken present four songs (only one under 10 minutes, it is basically a full length Evoken album!) of primordial doom death that is guaranteed to rip you a new asshole, even if the ripping is done in slow motion. The measured riffs are so heavy and foreboding, creating a truly desolate atmosphere peppered with some nice guitar fills and drumming that accentuates the obscure suffocating feel of it all. The vague growling vocals sort of float in and out of the background with stealth and add to the mental scenery the music of Evoken paints in your mind. Evoken are both ugly and beautiful at the same time. I found myself in awe of their power.
I believe this is my first experience with Beneath The Frozen Soil. It appears like they have been around some years but as of yet no full length album released. There is nothing wrong with that however in my view, too many bands rush into their first album, especially it seems in Scandinavia. Beneath... hit us with three songs, for just over 20 minutes of music. They do not have the same devastating effect on me that Evoken did, but all the same this is very good Swedish doom death metal. Beneath are maybe a little less obscure and ever so slightly more upbeat than Evoken, but just as dark and depressive. They are more into the keyboard accents yet it is not done in an intrusive or overpowering fashion. Some crushing stuff from these Swedes, I find myself already wanting more already. The more I listen to Beneath The Frozen Soil the more addicted to their music I seem to become. To be honest I do not see how any self-respecting doom devotee could possibly not even just want, but must have this split album in their collection. In my view, it is a landmark release in the genre, pure and simple.
 (Dale Roy)


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