Holding the album cover in my hands and looking at the ghostly figure of a woman leading some lost soul into the darkness of night and a somewhat foreboding house off in the distance shrouded in darkness and the black metal style logo I half expect to be in for a freezing cold black journey through the mind of some no doubt demented and tortured soul. And my preconceived thoughts seem justified when the cold melodic tremolo picked opening riff of the title track " An Apparition in Nocturnal Splendour" kicks in and makes me raise my mighty horns and shriek like an orc but as the song progresses it's apparent not only is this well produced black metal their is also a big melodic death metal influence going on here. This is not the type of black metal that Darkthrone perfected in the early nineties with their black metal trilogy this is more in the vain of Dissection than any other black metal band maybe a slight influence of Watain can be heard in the grandeur of the music and the overall feel. With the second track "Dethroned" we hear the first major shift in style occurring because this is straight up melodic death in an almost thrashing way, this band clearly have more than one trick up their collective sleeves. As the song progresses so does it's ambiance from melodic death to black and back to some old school death metal to round off the song all bounded together seamlessly and not to mention the dynamic vocals by vocalist Pete Colucci who puts in a great performance showing he can adapt his voice to the various styles on offer. The all too short instrumental piece "Sombre Dream to Gaze Upon" shows the band can spread their artistic wings and leave their comfort zone delivering a beautiful desolate landscape in a few short notes, truly breath taking. The album is full of great guitar playing and solos bringing out the best in each riff. The band continue their deathly blackened assault and leave a lasting impression on this scribe even after the first listen.
The EP is available for free download through Torn Flesh Records from the link below.
It's also available from the bands bandcamp page.