Krohm - _The Haunting Presence_
(Debemur Morti Productions, 2007)
by: James Montague (8 out of 10)
While the New Jersey-based doom metal band Evoken was making a name for themselves with a stream of acclaimed releases, their keyboardist Dario Derna was putting in the hard yards on the side, striving for black metal purity through his individual project named Krohm. Now separated from the band and living in Seattle, the man who calls himself Numinas has gone from the occasional demo tape to the regular album, with _The Haunting Presence_ marking the third such release since 2004 (although the second was a reissue of early material). The extra attention has paid off, as Krohm is rapidly making a name for itself in the USBM scene.

The stated aim of the Krohm project is to recreate the spirit of early '90s black metal, and the _Panzerfaust_-like album cover leaves little doubt that old Darkthrone and Burzum are key ingredients in the mix. Indeed, _The Haunting Presence_ is an easy listen for those with exposure to the second wave sound. The seven lengthy hymns contain all the familiar elements of melodic, treble-laden guitar harmonies, rapid drumming and reverbed vocal snarls. Krohm stands out not as a unique or groundbreaking entity, but it certainly is impeccable in its execution and conveys genuine feeling and traditional black metal spirit. The melancholic tone is frequently moving, particularly the tragic harmonic climaxes of "Black Shores" and "I Respiri Delle Ombre". In its essentially conformist sphere of existence, Krohm stands out for its subtle touches -- the influence of Numinas's doom experience can be heard during these climaxes, particularly in the muted keyboards that at times remind of Skepticism with its deep and thunderous pipe organ.

Proving once again that a music scene will always leave room for quality exponents, _The Haunting Presence_ stands out as one of the better black metal releases of the year and is a safe recommendation for anyone who's ever derived enjoyment from a corpsepainted musician.


(article published 2/12/2007)

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