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Haunter & Sovereign (Split Premiere)

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For a scene which was once so reviled, the US black metal movement is a treasure trove of creativity. From sea to boiling sea, there are countless bands who either add a tremendous weight to black metal or whet its ever-dulling blade. Two younger bands, Haunter and Sovereign, represent this pummeling power and sharp ferocity, respectively. Together on this split, they write a greater truth concerning the creative spirit of American Black Metal in the new century.


“Madrugadas Oscuras” (translation: Dark Dawns), Haunter’s longest non-album track to date, carries a larger concentration on more melodic elements of 2016’s Thrinodίa. Though still ferocious and aggressive, there is an air of progressive subtlety — dime-turn rhythm changes, grander atmospheric leanings, and a focus on instrumental clarity over rote heaviness — which proves them to be an even more multi-faceted, progressive black metal Cerberus. Across its nine minutes, Haunter’s ever-growing talent, especially when met with their prolific nature, continues to strengthen the power behind their name.


The much more traditional Sovereign, however, rebuts Haunter’s melodic contemplation with straightforward, uncompromising aggression. Their side of the split, comprised of the gnarly “Murder Saint” and “Opening Doors To Her Freezing Night” are exercises in crazed, nocturnal black metal triumph. As evil as ever, further bathed in the moonlight of Nailing Shut the Sacrosanct Orifice‘s mania, this trio’s spitfire performance echoes the crazed era in which Katharsis was [Editor’s Note: and, in my book, still is] king. Sovereign’s blackened, musical hubris is a truly overwhelming experience.

Haunter and Sovereign’s split will be out soon on vendetta records. In the meantime, you can stream the split in its entirety below.

Follow Haunter on Facebook and Bandcamp.

Follow Sovereign on Facebook and Bandcamp.

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