Since its inception, black metal has long been a style meant to take the listener to a different plain of existence. Sometimes it's to the fires of the underworld, other times it's to a deep forest or a snowcapped mountain. And sometimes, the journey is to an internal battlefield - one where both sides are in a perpetual stalemate despite much destruction over time.
It is here where Germany's Imha Tarikat brings audiences with their third length album, Hearts Unchained - At War with a Passionless World. Exchanging demonic screeches typical of black metal for a powerful roar, mastermind Kerem Yilmaz (aka Ruhsuz Cellât) backs his vocal fury with an arsenal of driving and pummeling instrumentation.
From the opening of "Radical Righteousness," Yilmaz sounds the charge like the fiercest of warriors. Channeling the might of Satyricon and Dark Funeral, more melodic sections such as those found in "Touch of Mercy" offer a tip of the hat to the works of Dissection and Rotting Christ.
Bordering on nearly hardcore style aggression, "Brute Majesty" spends nearly a minute building up wall of death worthy tension before unleashing in a fury of blast beats. Taking a slightly different approach, "Streams of Power - Canavar" simplifies the instruments a bit to focus on overall catchiness, which is expertly executed.
As the longest track on the album, "Stardust Wisdom (Manifest of the Deity to the Unkeen)" harkens comparison to Panopticon and Winterfylleth in its diversity of musical elements brought together into one song. Paired with closer "Beast of Sovereignty", the later cuts of the album are the perfect conclusion to an epic battle. And while scars run deep on both sides, when it comes to internal wars, who truly wins?
The Metal Mayan review:
As a genre near and dear to my frozen heart, it is always refreshing to hear a different interpretation of black metal. Imha Tarikat deliver exactly this with reverb saturated vocals and waves of heavy guitars and drums. If geography truly has an impact on the sound of a band, I can definitely imagine driving on the Autobahn with "Flood of Love (The Beast Trigger)" blasting on the car stereo.
I find that one thing that makes black metal somewhat inaccessible to metal fans is the vocal stylings. To that point, Imha Tarikat's lower range of shouts and growls might be more appealing to headbangers who prefer something closer to a death metal styling than Burzum vibes.
I am excited to see where this band goes; with a live lineup, it would be excellent to see them in the US, perhaps on tour with Septicflesh, Carach Angren, or Hypocrisy? Here's hoping! In the meantime, pick up a copy of Hearts Unchained - At War with a Passionless World, out 02 December on Lupus Longue/Prophecy Productions.
Advance copy courtesy of Lupus Lounge, Prophecy Productions, and Secret Service PR