By Steven Leslie. You have to love a band that throws a big middle finger up to convention and unafraid of getting lost in the shuffle of December album of the year lists, drops one of the best EPs of the year. That is just what Teitanblood have done with Accursed Skin.By Steven Leslie.
You have to love a band that throws a big middle finger up to convention and unafraid of getting lost in the shuffle of December album of the year lists, drops one of the best EPs of the year. That is just what Teitanblood have done with Accursed Skin. Teitanblood is a band that should need no introduction to the black/death metal maniacs out there having really burst on the scene and created a slew of imitators with their Seven Chalice's debut full length in 2009. The question was never if this EP was going to be good, but rather would it be as good as their previous material. The answer is a resounding yes.
Teitanblood have continued to develop and expand their songwriting capabilities and Accursed Skin is all the better for it. They have discovered something that most black/death bands miss, a little variety goes a long way. Instead of pounding away in one continuous blast of lawless pandemonium, Teitanblood masterfully intertwine harrowing maelstroms of sonic tumult with some of the downright catchiest riffs they have every created (see 3:30 of "Accursed Skin" for an example). They also do a superb job of utilizing tempo shifts to help keep you off balance, never knowing what is coming next. One minute you are grooving away to a killer mid-paced romp and the next the floor drops out from under you, sending you headfirst into a spiraling vortex of sonic madness and chaos. And it’s that chaos that is key here. While lesser bands use murk, dissonance and layering to cover a lack of riffs and technical deficiencies, Teitanblood harness that sonic chaos and tap into it at will in order to create a hellish atmosphere few other contemporary bands can match.
Special mention has to go out to the vocal performance on this EP. NSK’s vocals are some of the most harrowing and downright oppressive utterances put to record this year, maybe only surpassed by Desolate Defiler’s work in Void Meditation Cult. Again, variety plays a huge role in making his vocals so impactful as he veers between ominously layered howls and twisted, demonic growls. Combined with the aural onslaught of the music, NSK’s performance creates an irresistibly immersive atmosphere to these two hymns. So dim the lights, turn up the volume and enter the void because hell is calling and it is glorious.