We progress towards the Illumination of the Great Emptiness… Of Nihilism and Hatred, Of Cosmic Superiority and Defiance!
Barshasketh’s new album Sitra Achra will arrive as we enter אֲדָר. This time of Spiritual ascension shall be met by a work of Great Opposing Force, an embrace of the Negative! An audial and lyrical negation of purity!
Venerate the emptiness within and indulge in our offering of Chaos in its shining glory!
I have chosen black and abhorrent truth, over the radiant lie!
Sitra Achra is the other side. Sitra D’Kedushah’s mirror negative. The ecumenical embrace of impurity and unholiness. Barshasketh’s second album embraces and is immersed in negativity, nihilism, chaos and alienation from humanity.
This Barshasketh evocation of the universal destructive forces is communicated with bleak and complex atmospheres and technical creativity that has already been compared to Peste Noire and Wolves in the Throne Room. Pure Black Metal of the Highest Order!
Barshasketh will be performing live throughout 2013, the first date will be:
23 February: Bannermans Bar, Edinburgh with Haar, Funeral Throne and Burial
A full preview of the debut Barshasketh album, which will be reissued on CD later this year!
Sitra Achra is already gaining strong support and praise with comparisons being made to Peste Noire and Agalloch:
Barshasketh are deeply rooted in texts of old and their sound writhes with both agony and occtultic vibrations without sounding overdone or trite in the process. Nods to peers such as Peste Noire come thick and fast, particularly in the title track ‘Sitra Achra’ and the atmosphere it creates. Swirling mists of madness rise from the ashes of the harsh terrain Barshasketh inhabit, Krigeist intoning with growls of great power over sublimely melodic guitar progressions before it heads into pure Peste Noire worship. Which is not to say this is a bad thing in the slightest; it’s clear that Barshasketh hold the French band in high regard and wish only to pay tribute rather than rip them off entirely.
‘Sonnets to Orpheus’ roils in a fiery pit of riff-based hell; climbing solos give way to stripped back chords which allow the song to breathe a sigh of relief when the torment finally ends as “Sitra Achra” coils towards it’s closing stages of doom. Barshasketh continue their bitter and bleak black metal attack with final track ‘Schlußstück’ and it’s unnerving sense of destruction that perpetuates the moodiness heard throughout the record via doomed structures and the often soaring sound of the guitar (Guillaume – also of Haar and Acatalepsy) off-setting the coarse voice of Krigeist. Frenetic passages of terror infiltrate the latter stages of the song with a classic nuance that recalls the heady days of the second wave acts we all know and love. Drums are pertinent and wildly obvious and Cnoc An Tursa’s Bryan Hamilton does much to bring about a sense of pure aggression in his playing.
Barshasketh may owe a debt to their forefathers but this band are by no means content to tread in their footsteps and consistently outclass other advocates of their genre, and even themselves throughout the blissfully desolate nature of “Sitra Achra.” Engrossing.
– This is not a Scene 8/10
It’s an emotionally powerful, grindingly sorrowful sound that reminded me instantly of an anomalous gem from Anaal Nathrakh’s demo days by the name of ‘Satanarchist’, in which their rabid Mayhem worship is tempered with a much more tender, melodic feel.
The songs on ‘Sitra Achra’ have that same delicate, winding urgency to them, full of endlessly repetitive, tail-chasing tremolo riffs and ceaselessly clattering drums. There is plenty of energy and force to the songs, but they still tend towards the subdued, the narrow, blazing sections spinning off into depressive, mid-paced marches and dazed meanders. Whilst not particularly long at six or seven minutes, the songs have an epic and drawn-out quality to them on account of their minimalism, and there’s just a hint of the Ukrainian BM sound creeping in in places, adding a churning, windswept stoicism to the classic Nordic blasting. The rasped vocals meanwhile do the job without intruding, complementing the texture of the riffs nicely.
The songs certainly flow well, progressing smoothly from rattling barrages to mournful, doomy laments. Every once in a while a towering, crunchy heavy metal riff will appear from nowhere and start stomping about, sounding a bit out of place and “It’s my turn now, Jurgen”, but great fun precisely because of that. I’d be lying if I said that there was anything really new to be found on the album, but it’s chock-full of rousing moments and there’s an undeniable passion burning away at its heart. Some would no doubt argue that it’s too overproduced for an album with such a raw aesthetic, but it works for me. The physical CD itself seems a bit cheaply manufactured mind, but that’s probably my biggest complaint, and that ain’t bad. ‘Sitra Achra’ is depressive yet dynamic; full of piercing tremolos and somber half-time plunges. A delightfully chaotic dirge.
– Ave Noctum 8/10
L’Ange Du Meridien‘s initial intensity segues beautifully into Alcestian territory with haunting clean leads layered over frantic guitar work. Things end on the amazing Schlußstück, proving that they can slow things down to blackened doom tempos with Agallochian passages alternated carefully with break-neck riffing. Inevitable comparisons will be drawn to the likes of WITTR, Peste Noire & Krallice but Barshasketh refused to let myopic fanboyism distract them from their goal of breeding something dark & raw yet technically competent & progressive.
Barshasketh tread the very precarious tightrope of raw black metal production by never straying too far from the biscuit tin for fear of angering Nokturnäl Pissfistör & his Norwegian-by-way-of-Surrey trve khums. Thankfully though they also never sacrifice quality for extra Tesco Kvlt Kard points & slip off into the realms of 56k modem guitar tones & gutpuke vokillz. This balance is most refreshing as I wade through a sea of Borgir vs Darkthrone clones & I struggle to work out side I hate more. Not really, Borgir can fuck off. Distractions aside, Sitra Achra is an intelligent, mature entry into a swamped genre. Stick a “Fenriz approved” sticker on this, it’ll be on Band of the Week any day now.
– Leave the Hall 4/5
From ambient beginnings that wade through the thick soupy gloom to a rich tapestry of guitar woven impenetrable darkness, Barshasketh play Black Metal just how I like it to be played, slow, ominous and full of intensity! Track number II ‘Malaise’ sees Barshasketh increase the pace and the animosity created during their music with fast sporadic blast beats as well as the ever present raw guttural vocals that haunt most of the proceedings! Flicking aggressively between raucous Black Metal insanity and a meatier, more methodical style, Barshasketh try and succeed at keeping their sound fresh and interesting.
The bands songs are intricate for the most part, with grinding segments if vitriolic twilight kept to a maximum! At other times they do unleash the beast as it were and let rip with some crushingly depressive fast paced riff-age! At all times though there is a sense of professionalism about the band, one that has seen them rise from a fledgling Black Metal band into a more battle hardened predator, aware of the pit falls of the scene and ready to tackle all on comers!
– Destructive Music 7/10
Vocals mostly grim sounding and high pitched black metal screams along with a brief use of deep growls, while the lyrics cover darkness and occult themes, as for the production it has a very dark, raw and primitive sound to it with some of the songs being long and epic in length.
In my opinion Barshaketh are a very great sounding atmospheric, raw and primitive black metal band and if you are a fan of t his musical genre, you should check out this recording. RECOMMENDED TRACKS INCLUDE “Sitra Achra” “Bitter Sagacity” and “Leaden Horizon”. RECOMMENDED BUY.
– Occult Black Metal Zine