Not content with making deeply perverse music with Vulture Industries, Norwegian vocal ogre Bjørnar Nilsen has a dark(er) side to explore, too. Black Hole Generator share his other band’s essential oddness, but here all colours have been drained away, leaving nothing but pitch-black shadows and monochrome dismay.
Ten years on from their sole release to date, the Black Karma EP, this nefarious side-project has blossomed into something gloriously unhinged, like the black metal equivalent of an Escher illusion, elegantly detailed but ultimately devoid of hope. Extremity dominates, in the fiery riffing of Emerging Pantheon and the cracked-mirror doom of the opening title track, but there are also moments – most notably during the bleakly gothic Titan – where the hellish scenery blurs, mutating into the dusty walls and sticky floors of a seedy redneck dive bar as a cadaverous Tom Waits mumbles threats across a fire-damaged pool table. The warped waltz of Spiritual Blight provides an unsettling coda: one last dance at the end of the world, anyone?