By Dr. Abner Mality

Some very good orthodox black metal here from this unusual duo. Kosmogyr is an alliance between an American of Czech descent and a Chinese resident of Shanghai. Not the expected makeup of a traditional black metal band, that's for sure, but the result is surprisingly powerful, especially considering there is no human drummer involved and the two members were never in the same room together.

The PR sheet likens the band to a mixture of dark Dissection melody and the raw blast of Marduk, with a sprinkling of the expansive sound of Wolves in the Throne Room. That actually hits the nail right on the head. These guys certainly don't neglect dark and haunting melodies, but when they cut loose, they blast away at a 1000 mph. This is the sort of black metal that reaches its height in the late 90's. The sound is clear and rich, not "necro" or sounding like it was done for five bucks in Dracula's crypt. There's also an epic flow that hits its full height in the last two tracks, "Vision" and "Thalassic Lunacy". This is where the majestic droning buzz of Wolves In the Throne Room and similar bands comes in. Vocals are the throat-ripping rasps one would expect, but death metal growling also raises its ugly head. On quieter interludes such as "Sui Generis" and "Refulgence", you can hear Kosmogyr can do more than just freezing black metal...they can come up with truly rich melodies. At no point do the drums betray their electronic origin, which is pretty amazing. I'm not one to endorse "soundfile" bands done by long distance over the internet, but this is one of the best examples of that I've heard.

These guys are orthodox and proud of it. No ground broken here, but Kosmogyr have mastered a sound that is becoming rarer these days.