Desolate Shrine: The Heart Of The Netherworld

True deathly abandon from the frosty North

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The dawn of a new year may offer genuine hope amid the usual squall of banal platitudes and meaningless resolutions, but Desolate Shrine are having none of it.

Driven by a profound sense of misanthropy and despair, this Finnish trio exhibit a refined understanding of the death metal ethos, not least because their sound nobly blurs the lines between modern notions of deathly clangour and the seething rush of primitive black metal, resulting in the same unified, abyssal plunge that existed 30 years ago when Celtic Frost, Possessed and Bathory were regarded as kindred souls.

Epic and untamed, The Heart Of The Netherworld nods towards recognisable influences like Immolation and Gorguts while stabbing the sonic soil with a rusty spade in search of some distinctive, Lovecraftian essence. Layers of hiss and cavernous reverb are used to embellish the band’s prickly blasts and churning grooves, as on the monumental menace of Black Fires Of God, but an underlying sense of all-too-human melancholy and twisted melody frequently permeate the slavering onslaught, threatening to chill the blood of any devout servant of the dark.

Via Dark Descent

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.