Erzfeynd, even though they are a new band, come with all that 90s carried. Playing an “old sound” as a new band has pitfalls majority of the black metal projects cannot avoid – more often than not they will just turn out to be taking in the style and aesthetics but falling short on actual creative musical content. It is not an easy thing to put something of your own into the mix. Thankfully, in this case, we hear some actually exciting music even with an old sound.
The general area Erzyfend would fall in is 90s early European black metal with its epic touches: sharp and cold vocals, addition of synths, repetitive use of guitar riffs. You can hear the appreciation to 90s German black metal bands or early Abigor and Summoning. But what they can bring to the table that many other new black metal bands fail is an actual fully realized artistic creation: the band, all the concepts, and narrative (in German and not English, so appreciating the full extent might hit a language barrier) together result in a passionately crafted band.
Even without looking at the full concept, it is easy to hear the good parts of the music: there is great use of layered vocals and guitar parts: cold shrieks, clean-like vocals, and harsher lines are layered on top of each other just as well as different guitar melodies and leads are used at the same time. Long song structure allows them to be small journeys with a clear beginning, a build-up, a climax, and the ending. Samples and synths are used moderately and tastefully to add to the atmosphere. Erzfeynd’s actual black metal sound channels that storytelling feeling of Summoning much more than all those synth driven “almost” black metal bands ever could.
Celestial Sword, on the other side of the split, have a sharper and rawer approach to the point. This is a continuation of their journey that started with the 2020 full-length, and followed by two long-form collaboration songs. Back to completely their own material this time, and with multiple tracks of shorter length, they are treading the same path regardless.
With their songs on the black magic, night, and the moon, Celestial Sword are for those who are into the modern bands following the raw black metal side of 90s with an atmospheric, hypnotic flair. Following their previous releases that were only on tape so far, this might not be the debuting material for the band but their first output on vinyl. Throughout different formats and media, their devotion to dark night and blood prevails.
Erzfeynd / Celestial Sword split 12” will be out on Dybbuk Productions on the 30th of April. This is not all we will hear from the bands soon either. Erzfeydn have another split (this time a 7” with Rraaumm) on Van Records coming out on the same day as well as their first EP very soon. Celestial Sword will keep themselves busy with new material over several releases: two splits with Adrasteia and Faceless Spectre on His Wounds this summer with other splits as well as a new full-length to follow.