Released: 2017, Iron Bonehead Productions
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
Maurice de Jong has a fairly prolific and diverse catalog of music on his resume. Best known for his work behind blackened noise terrorists Gnaw Their Tongues, he’s also got a taste for more traditional black metal via Cloak of Altering and Pyriphlegethon; the former being a bit more avant-garde, the latter being total deconstructionist kvlt. Pyriphlegethon’s 2015 NIGHT OF CONSECRATION debut was actually a pretty well put together collection of stripped down OSBM, but the soon to be released THE MURKY BLACK OF ENTERNAL NIGHT intends to regresses the project’s format towards even more minimalist vistas.
THE MURKY BLACK OF ETERNAL NIGHT sounds like a hot mess. The drums sound like the kind of junior kit that your mom would buy on layaway from Service Merchandise. The guitars sound like they’re plugged into a 60-watt practice amp with the gain cranked to 10, but de Jong did shell out for a decent synth. The riffs never really reach beyond a few chords a tune, and the vocals sound like a banshee wailing through a mic filter.
Yet still, somehow, someway, THE MURKY BLACK OF ETERNAL NIGHT manages to persevere through all of that and end up being a palatable 37 minutes of pleasantly ugly black metal. Tracks like “Monument of Death”, “Funeral Bells”, and “Night on the Black Mountain” do a swell job of pairing lo-fi song structures with wholly effective melodies that elevate the tunes to levels well beyond their pay grade. And when the spooky synths are layered on top of that recipe (“The Coldest Grave”, “Cursed Blood”), the tunes become almost expansive in scope, while still managing to retain that crusty, bleak underbelly.
It should go without saying that in order for said appreciation to be found, you really need to already have a taste for this kind of metal. If you get hung up on things like “production quality” or “musical technique”, do not pass go, do not collect $500. But if you’re a bit more adventurous in your creative palate, Pyriphlegethon might well be worth the excursion.