Lunar Mantra – Genesis

This is a bleak, ominous black metal concoction by a band who seem to have an unusually strong sense of cohesion and identity at such a young stage in their career. A three-piece from Glasgow, Scotland, this is their very first release. Opening with haunting chanting, eerie percussion, the stage is set for a putrid ceremony. While the lyrics delve into occult themes, frankly the music itself is so menacing and terrifying anyway that reading the lyrics feels unnecessary. Dissonant, frenzied guitar riffs plunge into the darkness while terrifying screams and roars batter the ears, all kept barely under control by the impressive drumming of JR/O. The production feels warm and natural, rather than the tinny and flat sound associated with early black metal releases, and the band’s use of haunting choir vocals and other traditional instruments only enhance the coherence of the ritualistic sound this band are going for. A truly dark and haunting release.