Christ Agony – Black Blood

Rating: 3.5
Distributor/label: Witching Hour Productions
Released: 2015

Christ Agony 500x500Band line-up:

Cezar – Guitars, Vocals,
Reyash – Bass
Darek – Drums

Tracklisting:

1. Black Blood Universe
2. Coronation
3. Kingdom ov Abyss

Review:

It has been over four years since the world has last heard from Christ Agony, but this November sees them unleashing a much anticipated EP entitled “Black Blood”. Featuring three songs, “Black Blood” has a total run-time of just under 20 minutes; a short but nonetheless powerful release that will undoubtedly whet the appetite of many fans, with the long awaited ninth full-length album being due to be released next year.

With over two decades of experience, “Black Blood” is said to be a return to Christ Agony’s roots, going back to the musical style found in their mid ‘90s releases. However, despite this nostalgia, there is an undeniably modern twist to this EP. Launching straight into an aural onslaught with “Black Blood Universe”, a chanted chorus adds a stark contrast to the harshly rasped vocals, whilst a roiling drumbeat carries the song forward with the unstoppable force of a freight train. “Coronation” on the other hand has a more majestic feel to it, with a more melodic death metal atmosphere woven into the inherently black metal style. The acoustic guitar sections further enhances the melodious aspects, resulting in what can only be described as a beautiful song. This stands in stark contrast to the final song, “Kingdom ov Abyss”, which has more of the kick we have come to expect from Christ Agony.

The recording quality of “Black Blood” is excellent, with each track being perfectly crisp and clear, with no track dominating and drowning out the others. The song structure is also very good, although I find myself missing some of the aggression and impetus that Christ Agony’s previous music held. Whilst Christ Agony has never really been as inaccessible as other black metal bands of the ‘90s, “Black Blood” definitely has a “safe” feel to it, with a strong emphasis on the more melodic aspects of their music. Nevertheless, despite this, this EP will likely still be much treasured by fans. This is especially one for the vinyl collectors, with only 300 copies of the “Black Blood” EP being available, not to mention the limited edition t-shirts that are also available. Overall, “Black Blood” is perhaps not mind-blowing in its own stead, but nevertheless piques interest for next year’s full album.
Review by Erika Kuenstler

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