Barshasketh – Ophidian Henosis

Barshasketh
Ophidian Henosis
Released 30th July 2015
Black Metal
Released via Blut & Eisen Productions 

Ophidian Henosis’ is the third album from the black metal band Barshasketh. The band was formed back in 2009 and originates from New Zealand but they are currently based in Edinburgh, Scotland after relocating there a few years ago.

After a quick glance at the tracklist, it soon becomes apparent that this album is essentially one song in seven parts, aptly labeled “Ophidian Henosis I”, “Ophidian Henosis II” and so on. After an atmospheric intro, these guys cut to the chase with part one blasting its way through the speakers with some fast and furious guitars akin to the likes of Marduk. Yet it’s not all about the ferocious pummeling of the drums and guitars, for underneath this mean looking facade lies is a melodic element which softens the blow to the eardrums. As far as the black metal genre styles go, it’s like Marduk meets Ragnarok with a hint of Taake thrown in for good measure.

As the album progresses, the Taake-esque melodic elements remain a key feature of Barshasketh’s chosen style. For example, midway through part II and into the second minute of part V, the guitars are almost tranquil-sounding forming a sharp contrast to Krigeist’s harsh screams. At the same time the harsh and more brutal side is never too far away and each song contains a mixture of the two styles. It’s as though the melodic parts were there to provide a short interlude for the listener to relax for a while before the pummeling resumes. This adds to the variety and makes the album easier to listen to.

Overall this has been an enjoyable experience. Barshasketh’s style is by no means unique but they combine some good influences from more established acts from the black metal scene. I would recommend this to fans of Marduk and Ragnarok.

4/5

Iza Raittila

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