Malist - Karst Relict
Northern Silence Productions
Black Metal
8 songs (45:49)
Release year: 2021
Official Bandcamp, Northern Silence
Reviewed by Goat

Three albums in three years is an impressive feat for any artist, particularly so for Russian one-man black metal project Malist. And although Karst Relict doesn't quite manage to outdo its predecessors in terms of quality, it's still a very solid entry into this project's rapidly growing discography. You can sense a step back from the second-wave purity of the previous albums from the oddly tech-death aesthetics of the artwork, and indeed musically Karst Relict is ever so slightly more post-black and experimental than its brethren, coming to a head on Timeless Torch with a touch of post-punk to the chorus as well as a more confidently technical drum performance.

Yet by and large this is a continuation of the project's atmospheric tendencies, driven by shimmering melodic riffs and although most tracks are built in a similar way, the album doesn't feel samey or repetitive. The melodic intensity of, say, early highlight Satellite is very different to the slower, melancholic Between the Worlds, for instance. Throughout, the atmosphere holds strong, and little touches like the mournful clean singing and lead guitar of A Way Through Limbo enhances it.

Picking highlights is easy, as is listening to this album. There's a measured, competent smoothness to it that keeps your ears hooked - some black metal relishes and feeds on the sloppy chaos that goes into its creation, not Malist. The slow, grandiose Lifeless Ease of Nonbeing impresses with its waves of morose melody not despite but because of how solidly and professionally it is put together, and the impact is all the better as a result. And each track you listen to here provides a compelling snapshot of Malist's approach to black metal, perhaps lacking extreme highs and lows but showing the growth and consistency of the artist overall as he grows more experienced. Those new to Malist should start here, those who have followed along thus far will continue to appreciate it.

Killing Songs :
Satellite, Timeless Torch, Between the Worlds
Goat quoted 75 / 100
Other albums by Malist that we have reviewed:
Malist - To Mantle the Rising Sun reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
Malist - In the Catacombs of Time reviewed by Goat and quoted 75 / 100
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