An ice cold sky oppressively weighing itself down upon us. The night could never feel colder than when ringing out over the wastelands of Europe, Black Metal takes its evil standing. Chilling through your ears. Black Metal lends itself to experimentation and atmosphere in a way like no other Metal genre. Italy doesn’t exactly get the most attention when it comes to Metal or Black Metal, even. Ah Ciliz and Chiral are up and comers from Italy and offer atmospheric Metal that recalls England’s Winterfylleth, Norway’s Arcturus, Finland’s Thy Serpent and early stages of Norway’s Troll; mixed in different ways that make for the completely different music of Italy’s atmospheric Black Metal bands, Ah Ciliz and Chiral.
Ah Ciliz are a violently calm sea of tremolo picking that builds the rough anarchy of evil within a beautiful and dark atmosphere. A lot of bands within Black Metal stick to doing this well but where Ah Ciliz really start to make their music their own is the layers to which song is told. Changing tempos and withdrawing to an icey wind. Sounding at times very progressive in their approach but certainly a faded atmosphere to an otherwise distorted violence. The melodic power to an atmosphere that forever remains interesting immediately grabs the band attention.
Chiral are both the perfect companion and a complete change to Ah Ciliz. Coming in like a slow burning fire, the same atmospheric melodies and tremolo picking enables a fierceness that recalls Winterfylleth’s intensity and melody. Instead of breaking to a chilling air, Chiral bring forth interestingly tuned drums and sound effects that give a layer on top of their evil sounding melodies. Recalling the experimentation, you’d find in bands like Arcturus whilst bringing the melody of early Troll to blend it all together. Not many Black Metal bands can do this so masterfully. It is somehow more violent than Ah Ciliz whilst being just as atmospheric. Closing with an epic, ‘Queen of the Settling Sun’ just feels like a coup de grace for Chiral. They go all out, symphonic backing a haunting nature to build to a violent streak of raw Black Metal intensity.
Not many Split albums can do this so perfectly, marrying two bands without the detriment of the other. Modern Black Metal has had a tendency to loose itself in the pursuit of an evil sound or a tribute to other sounds, whilst always forgetting what Black Metal always looked for. Ah Ciliz and Chiral feel like a refreshing return to proper form, keeping an intensity that is both melodic and violent. Black Metal par excellence. Origins, is a perfect split album and a deep end start for some Black Metal newcomers.