There’s no place for interpretation or experimentation for Blutvial in their black metal. The Hampshire four-piece delivers its fifth opus, Chapter V – Mysteries Of Earth, after two albums and just as many EPs, under the uncompromising Dutch label Heidens Hart Records. The Brits, however, seem to gaze over to the opposite shore of the North Sea, to the land where the genre was born, with an album strictly tied to the standards while being praiseworthy one.
Sharp and frostbitten guitars go hand in hand with the great dynamism of the compositions which, starting from a pretty traditional style, reach out to even black’n’roll territories, like in the very short “Black Silence”. Wickedness pours out from each and every groove, be it etched with sheer aggressiveness (“Vaults Of Unrest”) or more atmospherical parts, even with doom leanings like in the closing piece “Where Graves Spring Open”, with its stench of desecrated tombs and unspeakable rituals. This is not a complex record: on the contrary, the material is raw, straight to the point, characterized by genuinity and passion that take distance from more plasticky productions in the genre. Nothing new under the sun in terms of sound and stylistic solutions, and the various influences show through from time to time, but everything is well organized and reinvigorated with a fair amount of awareness by the four musicians, which manage to find their place without sounding too similar to their musical references.
Ewchymlaen’s voice, a bit Abbath-sounding every now and then, narrates of what is dear to the black metal genre: desperation, gloomy resignation and nature as the sole refuge, obviously in its darkest manifestations, waiting for the inevitable destiny. However, there’s a deeper, poetic sensibility to the band, as shown by two poems chosen as lyrics for a couple pieces: “Midwinter’s Hall” is basically Baudelaire’s work, with the ocean’s constant motion seen by the Poet as the reflection of his tumultuous soul; “Doomed To Eternal Night”, instead, turns to German author Friedrich Rückert, totally detached and forgotten by the world, but who finds relief in this condition, misunderstood by society and superior to it.
It’s pretty hard to choose a song that stands out on the others: from the opener “Beneath The Moon”, with its almost catchy riff, to the mentioned ones, each episode finds its meaning and place, thanks to the skills of the Englishmen and to a suitable production that promotes their efforts. If you’re looking for some good, classic black metal, but with a certain flavour, be sure to grab the latest Blutvial.