Sunspell / Saudade - From the Mist, We Are But Dust
WitchCult Records
Black Metal
8 songs (37' 37")
Release year: 2017
Reviewed by Andy

Obscure one-man act Sunspell teams up with a neighbor to the north, Canadian blackgrinders Saudade, for this split. From the Mist...We Are But Dust offers a good 40 minutes of evenly divided black metal, with Sunspell providing a cosmic ambience on its two tracks that is contrasted by Saudade's raw, lo-fi brutality.

Sunspell starts the show with soft keyboards, which made me think (having never heard this artist before) that this was going to be an ambient black metal album -- but it's just taking its time to warm up. Four minutes in, tremolo picking, blastbeats, and Doulos's agonized shrieks. These are turned way down in the mix to the point that they can barely be heard, as if he is singing from the depths of a medieval oubliette. The second track starts doomier and more profound, building back up within a few minutes to a similar speed. For their part, Saudade goes an old-school black metal route, resulting in tracks that are nasty, brutish, and short -- one of the tracks is just a mysterious set of whispers -- but they're capable of more than simple punk minimalism, and the final track, Chapel of Judgement, is more elaborate than usual -- though no less abrasive and noisy. I appreciated the Sunspell tracks more than Saudade, but both are quite worthwhile to listen to.


Killing Songs :
Consumed By Emptiness, Chapel of Judgement
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