This Ukranian black metal band has been a consistent favorite of mine in recent years, so much in fact that I was actually awaiting this release and it’s been years since I’ve been excited about an upcoming album. Each release shows more growth in both atmosphere and intensity, somewhat bordering on the melodic, introspective, desolate, and flat out hostile simultaneously. Songs like “Room Winter” instantly come across as the being that familiar and classic frosty melodic buzzing black metal , but as the song progresses into more of an aggressive storming of rhythms and atmospheres I’m reminded of the intense and unique sounds of Altar of Plagues and a bit of Nachtmystium (Assassins: Black Meddle Part I) especially in the transcending mortality/astral travel mood blended with equal parts black metal and psychedelia.

Although “Room Winter” is over 11-minutes in length they really keep the intensity  high with their continuously changing moods and tempos within the song like an endurance test of freefalling, stopping suddenly and dangling mid-air, free-falling yet again, and so forth. Sometimes it’s almost a gothic and symphonic instrumental journey, then suddenly it will combust into a blast beat snare crashing percussion throw down with incinerating buzzing chords diverting direction into a blazing inferno, while other times it’ll break the mood once again with deep chugging juggernaut riffing. Thus nothing is easy to predict, but the flow and crafting of every minute detail in each of the four songs on Transcendence is masterfully smooth and fluid to the point of justifiably a transcendence from body to pure spirit

The opener, “Shine”, is an addicting pulsing song with slight shoegaze hints in the melodies, but still holds up its blackened aggression via deep decipherable growls that almost fall into death doom territory with a slight touch of doom groove in some of the rhythm guitar towards the middle of the song. Complete with some excellent chugging riffs and a continual rollover between arpeggiated melodic leads and a pulsing tide of rhythm it’s virtually impossible to escape the pull.

Much of the brilliance of this album lies in its means of unraveling itself and embedding its own consciousness into yours. It’s fairly difficult, if not nearing impossible, for me to not listen to Transcendence in its entirety. Once the impact of “Shine” flows into “Room Winter” its like being lost in a dream until the monumental closer “Transcendence” leads you back to a wakened state of awareness once again.

“Transcendence” is complicated fury to describe aptly. The vocals are fierce and shrieking, almost like a spirit beckoning through the cold twilight air, and the symphonic elements bolster the feel of supernatural/astral experiences and presences upon which the album is inspired, especially toward the latter portion of the song where spoken/chanted words ring through the mist like incantations from beyond the mortal realm. The solo right before the chant-like vocals brings to mind the sound and atmosphere of Blut Aus Nord (Memoria Vetusta I and II) when those distinct melodies come forth and the songs reach that pivotal pre-climax moment. For me this song is the perfect fornication of some of the best moments in black metal and as with all the other songs on this album, this one leaves you in a state of cold sweat and palpitations upon its end. ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY!!!!!!

Stream the entire album and purchase here:

http://raventale.bandcamp.com/album/transcendence