Judas Iscariot – An Ancient Starry Sky

Rating: 5/5
Distributor/label [URL] Ascension Moments Media
Released: 2018
Buy Album [URL] https://judasiscariotusbm.bandcamp.com/album/an-ancient-starry-sky
Band Website: https://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Judas_Iscariot/915

Band line-up:
Akhenaten – All Instruments & Vocals

1. Babylon in Ruin
2. Unholy Victory
3. In Den Qualen Der Holle
4. The Cold Earth
5. Extinction
6. Armageddon
7. Black Eternal Winds
8. Outro




At the mention of a new Judas Iscariot album any keen fan would frown and say: ‘Wait, Judas Iscariot ended in 2002 and there’s been no talk of a comeback.’ And you are indeed correct. For said band have not returned to the US Black Metal stage, but have indeed graced the world with another Black Metal gem.

A long lost Black Metal gem.

‘An Ancient Starry Sky’ was originally recorded and due for release back in 1998 but, due to JI overlord Akhenaten’s commitments to other releases and projects, the album was side-lined and deemed forgotten for nearly 20 until it was rediscovered in a private collection.

So has those 20 years in solitary confinement boded well for this release? The answer can be found only within the songs.

If you like your Black Metal raw and raspy then you’re in for one hell of a treat, for Akhenaten ravages the ears with all his musical might right from the off with ‘Babylon in Ruin,’ and continues this with the next track: ‘Unholy Victory,’ which really showcases this angry young man at the peak of his potential.

The album is jagged, hard edged and scraped together in only a fashion that analogue can do, so expect this to be the king of album collectors like Fenriz of Darkthrone to yammer on about on their podcasts because it’s so great knowing the old ways are still best.

Things get a little slower but remain brutal on ‘The Cold Earth’ and the next few songs are a real ‘creeping barrage’ kind of take on some of the finest music ever concocted.

For anyone who bathes in nostalgia and always says the 90s were so much better, then this is a record you have to own – for now that Judas Iscariot have released all their recordings you’ll definitely feel like you’re back in the days of waiting weeks for a new vinyl to come out and saving all your dimes and nickels to buy the latest Nachtmystium release.

This is a true step back in time that begins nice and raw and ends with a long and very beautifully melodic ode: ‘Black Eternal Winds’ which I think would have given lots of new USBM fans the urge to write more about nature and the lands around them.

What we have here is a newly discovered treasure. The (un)holy grail of American Black Metal, now ready to be kept in private collections and museums of this music all over the world. Akhenaten, I salute you again as one reputable musician of this genre.

Review by Demitri Levantis