Aosoth: IV: Arrow In Heart

Grandiose Gauls prove evil still has no boundaries

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For all the disparate directions black metal has veered off in over the years, a purity of atmosphere has always been essential to its impact. Aosoth deftly straddle the divide between avant explorations and more straightforwardly vicious extremity, and IV... reaffirms their guardianship of the foggy no-man’s land between those two approaches.

But it’s the chilling, spectral presence that lurks within that makes IV… stand out. These are wilfully expansive exercises in untamed speedfreak ferocity and oppressive, slow-motion grandeur, wherein dense and ominous ambient demons seep and slither through cracks in a superficially simplistic sonic façade.

Tracks like An Arrow In Heart hiss with Satanic intent, but Aosoth are never clumsy or blatant about their unholy urges. Instead, through a combination of structural cunning and vivid fever dreams made real, they have constructed a unique musical world and one of the best BM albums of recent times.

Dom Lawson

Dom Lawson has been writing for Metal Hammer and Prog for over 14 years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He also contributes to The Guardian, Classic Rock, Bravewords and Blabbermouth and has previously written for Kerrang! magazine in the mid-2000s.