Black Altar/ Vulture Lord – Deathiah Manifesto

Deathiah Manifesto Album Cover Art

Black Altar/ Vulture Lord – Deathiah Manifesto
Odium Records
Release Date 15/02/22
Running Time: 27:00
Reviewed by Paul Hutchings

A quick search on the ever-dependable Metal Archives site tells me that both despicable Black Metal outfits have been around for some time, their darkened tentacles stretching back into the abyss of the mid-late 1990’s. That’s unsurprising as soon as you listen to this split EP, for both bands are anchored firmly in the era of old school Black Metal, albeit that Vulture Lord are closer to the Blackened Thrash that is dominating parts of the Black and Thrash Metal crossover now.

Comprising 27 minutes in total, each band contributes four songs. Polish outfit Black Altar take the first hit, with their tracks including an intro and outro. The intro builds in a demonic manner, plenty of whispering in the shadows, enough to chill the spine. The band then launch into the frenetic paced ‘Sacrilegious Congregation’ with the shimmering walls of tremolo riffing, blast beats and jarring edges. There’s a similar pace to ‘Nyx’. Both songs thunder along, the vocals as expected, glass gargling growls. Throw in some wolfen howls, harrowed screams and the darkness simply envelopes the listener whilst the temperature drops. There’s some nice changes of tempo and some Tom G. Warrior grunts which all add to the delivery. It’s nothing that’ll shake the world but for aficionados of the first wave of Black Metal, this may be a reassuringly icy blast. The skin crawling outro ensures that you’ll be uncomfortable whilst waiting for the next part of this split EP. 

Vulture Lord have been plying their trade since 1995, although the Norwegians have a mere two full-length releases to their name, alongside a plethora of compilations and other output. No messing with this lot, the thunder is rapid and instant, huge dirty blackened riffs cascade, the relentless pace providing no hiding place. It’s ferocious stuff, with the first three tracks grabbing the listener with their ferocious speed and visceral delivery. ‘Hark! The Hymns of War’ rages, a combination of Venom, Motörhead and some punishing Black Metal edges bring this band roaring into the modern day. 

As one would expect, both bands bring anti-religious and Satanic themes through their music. Vulture Lord carry a rawer edge, with their explosive Black Thrash threatening to veer out of control. The demonic snarl of vocalist Sorath is hideous, all croaks and roars, but he brings the message with his overall barbed wire croaks. There is plenty of Slayer kicking around in the band, with brutal time signatures and ferocity in the overall aural assault. And if all of that isn’t enough, there’s some dramatic cinematic score to conclude the EP in ‘Usurper, Thy Name is Death’ with a classic Vincent Price quote as Prince Prospero in the legendary 1964 film ‘The Masque of the Red Death’

Black Altar
01. Intro
02. Sacrilegious Congregation
03. Nyx
04. Outro

Vulture Lord
01. Dominios of Death
02. Hark! The Hymns of War
03. Bloodstained Ritual Knives
04. Usurper, Thy Name is Death

Black Altar 
Shadow – Vocals, Bass

Vulture Lord
Sorath – Vocals
Uruz – Drums
Enzifer – Guitars
Malphas – Guitars, Bass

Black Altar

Vulture Lord

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