In the three years since Reign of Erebus last obliterated ear drums at a venue near you, a great deal has happened. Thankfully, none of it has had any impact whatsoever on this maniacal UK black metal outfit who have clearly spent a great deal of time honing this, their new release, ‘De Morte Aeterna’. And now, in the gigantic potato peeling that has become the year 2020, they become the latest in a line of the best of UKBM to bring us something new, exciting and vibrant. And, once again, without any possibility of taking it to that kennel full of rabid, alcohol-fuelled dogs that we all call ‘fans’.
This record takes their trademark truculent musical rampage and injects a very current, very explicit and downright heavy sheen to bake off the Reign Of Erebus sound of 2020. They possess, for me, the ability to immerse a grotesque, beating black heart at the centre of every track that looms throughout the album – reminding me very much, in this respect, of early Zyklon or the suchlike.
From the rip-roaring bedlam of opener ‘As The Clouds Gather’ complete with incessantly illustrious soloing, through the claw-hammer-to-the-throat that is ‘Beneath The Fires’ and into a The Infernal Sea-tinged title track, this album is an attention grabber. And once it’s grabbed it, it fancies nothing more than throttling the life out of you.
The UK black metal scene is, as has been for a while, a strong old beast. The return of Reign of Erebus with this sublime recording not only adds to that strength, it plants a bloody great big third horn right in the middle of its head. Get gored.