Muknal / The Haunting Presence
Split


3.5
great

Review

by Angel STAFF
July 18th, 2012 | 24 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Circle jerk.

For those out of the loop, the Black Twilight Circle is a collective of artists putting forth some of the most forward-thinking music within the extreme metal community. Showcasing many different artists spanning several different genres (many projects sharing members like some elite Satanic musical orgy), the trust has put out a multitude of releases in the past five years ago, almost single-handedly raising the black metal profile of the southwestern United States as the best in the world. While not all of its rather prodigious output can claim to be worth anyone’s time, the gems littered throughout more than make this clan worth paying attention to for fans of the sordid and unrelentingly lo-fi. Adding to this list of gems are two of the most recent additions to the Circle, Muknal and The Haunting Presence, paired together here for a most satiating taste of swirling blackened death metal chaos.

Muknal get things going with a brief passage of ominous chanting and clanking background noise before ripping into the flesh of the split with furious blasting and suffocating riffing. Building on a foundation of complex and dissonant death metal and coating it in a unique hellish muck, “Hecatombs” finds tumultuous guitar lines fused with pulsing effects pedal experimentation into a memorably horrific beast. The pair of tracks featured on the split showcase Muknal’s signature sound established on their debut demo, only more succinct and focused, and this tightened songwriting is further spotlighted with improved production over that freshman endeavor. Impious’ vocals manage to be sharper and more piercing than ever, while the drums are notably fuller and much more engaged with the rest of the mix than previously. Rarely can an outfit boast the technicality on display here and emit any semblance of atmosphere, but Muknal do so quite convincingly. But as quickly as the unforgiving onslaught came, it dissipates back into the eerie noise from whence it came, leaving way for something new and wicked to emerge.

The Haunting Presence half finds itself a bit more derivative in approach but every bit as enjoyable as its companion pieces. Sinister blackened death metal a la Blasphemy and Archgoat is offered up with plenty of infectious grooves and gratifying tempo changes. But each well-crafted piece proves with carefully manipulated dynamics and hellish energy to be far from cheap imitation. The more primitive nature of the two THP tracks serves as a welcome counterpoint to the smothering miasma of their predecessors, with Ghastly Apparition cooking up some deliciously satisfying riffs amidst the wildly ferocious vocals and tight drumming. And here again, the recording treatment of these songs is a marked improvement over the project’s previous work and makes a big difference in the overall quality. And once again, the onslaught subsides to the familiar overarching sample, ending the brief but fulfilling ride once and for all.

With both acts seeing production refined and beefed up while still being far from overdone and songwriting undergoing similar fine-tuning, this split is a fine addition to the Black Twilight Circle canon and the highlight of each young project’s career thus far. The four tracks of blackened death metal mayhem are as strong as are likely to be found these days, and even as different as the two bands are, it really comes as no surprise they’re in the in the same family of like-minded malignant progenitors.



Recent reviews by this author
Chelsea Wolfe Pain Is BeautyPrurient Through the Window
Storm Corrosion Storm CorrosionRudimentary Peni Cacophony
Noothgrush Erode the PersonLycus Demo MMXI
user ratings (8)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
July 18th 2012


16137 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Well, I owed you all some reviews of some new shit, so here's one.

carouse
July 18th 2012


302 Comments


I'm not sure how I missed this, but thank you for bringing it to my attention.

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
July 18th 2012


16137 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

No problem, dude. It's certainly worth picking up. A definite highlight of the year so far, for me.

Xenophanes
Emeritus
July 18th 2012


10614 Comments


Sounds interesting. Great read, Angel, although this probably not my thing I think I'll check it out anyways

Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins On Io

CaptainDooRight
July 18th 2012


29966 Comments


heard this was ok

Digging: Fleurety - Min Tid Skal Komme

MO
July 18th 2012


18867 Comments


fuck yes

Vesper
July 18th 2012


3085 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

From the sounds of the review, you seem to have enjoyed the Muknal side more. Their demo and their half of this split still haven't managed to really get my attention.

My boyfriend was playing this before I knew what it was, and I tuned it out until the THP tracks came on, lol.

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
July 18th 2012


16137 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I guess I had more to say about Muknal's side, but I like both sides practically equally.

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
July 18th 2012


16137 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Eatin' negs all day.

Vesper
July 18th 2012


3085 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Fair enough. I guess the THP sound just appeals to me a lot more.

And what's with the ghost negs? Must be Yankee and one of his alts.

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
July 18th 2012


18728 Comments


no he would never he wants to be elite so bad

Digging: Monolake - Hong Kong

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
July 18th 2012


16137 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

And here I was, under the impression I was so dearly beloved. :'(

Vesper
July 18th 2012


3085 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You can buy Sputnik's love with another food and/or alcohol list, probably.

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
July 18th 2012


16137 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I don't know if they deserve it anymore with their fickle endearment.

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
July 18th 2012


50587 Comments


who would neg angel

Digging: Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 2

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
July 18th 2012


10288 Comments


Nice review man :] not my kinda thing at all but you sell it well.

MoosechriS
July 18th 2012


5029 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cool review dude pos'd finally got my hands on this recently. Muknals stuff is easily their best so far, but if you havnt already checked out the haunting presence' ep on hellsheadbangers i would do as it's easily their best material to date.

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
July 18th 2012


16137 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

o mai gawd riff

Tyrael
July 18th 2012


20901 Comments


SuckACock strikes again I suppose

alachlahol
July 18th 2012


7501 Comments


dont u even bring his name into this filth



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy