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Irkallian Oracle: Apollyon

Surreptitious Swedes summon up opposing, arcane forces

The clandestine collective Irkallian Oracle immediately sold out their 2013 tape, Grave Ekstasis, upon its release and by doing so, caught the attention of the none-more-extreme label, Nuclear War Now!

What made their debut stand out was the sheer velocity by which this enigma summoned its metaphysical black/death metal. Not as oppressively technical as Portal or as cavernous as Impetuous Ritual, Irkallian Oracle struck the requisite balance between two subterranean realms. It’s hard to know who is behind this Swedish act operating under black hoods, but they’ve taken a somewhat alternative approach on Apollyon, with the sepulchral doom of Grave Ekstasis closer Absentia Animi seemingly used as an archetype.

By repeatedly slowing down to an Incantation-inspired crawl and placing the contorted drums high in the mix, Irkallian Oracle appear more primitive than before.

This might be a disappointing regression if you were expecting to be swallowed whole by another chaos-vortex; their ideal sound lies between the cacophony of their first album and Apollyon’s suffocating death-doom.