|Cyber Baphomet / Karna
After having enjoyed lots of Russian black metal, it was time for the split "Void 2.0" to come in and shift my attention from Evil music to the dark abysses of synthesized sounds. S.N.D. Production brought two bands that had gone missing for quite a while back to life, Cyber Baphomet and Karna did it through eleven quite diverse tracks.
Cyber Baphomet deconstruct the very concept of symphonic/industrial black metal, removing the metal parts of it altogether and only keeping the screamed/growled vocals (which play a secondary role anyway because of the equalization chosen). Synths rule the whole scene together with sound manipulation and the nervous drum machine, moving from EBM-techno to straight-up excursions into dark ambient territories; from the speedcore (dropping labels here!) heard on "Postapokaliptik (FlashbackForFuture999)" to the dilated cosmic melodies of "Unfuture (NarkolepsyMix)". Their will to diversify as much as possible over the first six tracks probably resulted in a bit of dispersion and a lack of cohesion. Also, perhaps they could have made use of a clearer production, so as to allow a better perception of each shade of their sound.
On the other hand, Karna — their companions in this journey — bring the guitars back to the forefront thanks to a dreary industrial metal sound, martial and monolythic rhythms and an almost cybernetic vocal style. They sound like an oppressive version of Deathstars, Marilyn Manson, and The Kovenant; unfortunately, they incomprehensibly watered everything down with the final twelve minutes of "Black Mirrored Blaze", an extremely long dark ambient track that feels completely out of place in this context. Differently from their colleagues, they chose safer grounds as we can hear on the enjoyable "Silent Scorn" and "Tolerance Zero". However, this might be too little considering their setlist also includes an intro and an intermission.
"Void 2.0" shows two really different approaches to electronic music: an outright embrace for Cyber Baphomet and a more syncretic one for Karna. Even so, both bands resulted a bit lacking in terms of qualitative continuity and I believe stylistic coherence as well. In a few words, this time there are more downs than ups coming from the immense Russian lands…