A long-running (albeit somewhat obscure) name in the American underground scene, Chicago’s Ezurate unleash their third opus of dark and blasphemous blackness in a hefty way. With 15 tracks, clocking in at over an hour, a very thorough booklet (including lyrics), and some pretty standard graveyard/snowcapped forest photography we’ve all come to know and love throughout the years, Eve of Desecration certainly shines like a gleam in the eye of the Devil.

The production is crystal clear and the atmosphere is often bleak and moody. Razor-sharp riffing, diabolical vocals, and thunderous blast beats make every lengthy track a sheer listening pleasure. The band dedicates this polemic to former vocalist Ben “Count Nocturon” Maiben, who passed on into the afterlife in 2008 C.E. With only so few releases under their bullet belts, and having a history dating back to the mid-90s, it is easy to see that an album of this magnitude can take quite some time to bestow upon the masses. Luckily, the band does mention, in the liner notes, that a new atrocity entitled Summon Thy Legions will be “’Comming’ Soon” and the liner goes on to show the menacing-looking cover art for it.

When all is finally said and done, Ezurate definitely have a place at the top of the totem pole that is the overcrowded black metal universe! (FA)