One Master - _Reclusive Blasphemy_
(Eternal Death, 2015)
by: Dan Lake (7 out of 10)
Are you disgusted with the current trends in hipster "black" metal? Do you cringe whenever bands like Vattnet Viskar or Deafheaven or A Forest of Stars release new records and garner anything more positive than a sharpened upside-down cross to the skull? Do you despise Winterfylleth simply because their album covers use a color palette wider than the more-than-sufficient black and white? Are you Wrest?

One Master bring the bullet-belted, goat-blooded, misanthropic cult hate that is your baphomama's milk. One Master are true as shit. Which is not to say (to you annoying 21st century snobs with sticks firmly up butts) that _Reclusive Blasphemy_ is boring. There's an impressive variety of tempos and shades of existential darkness flickering through these five long tracks (averaging around seven minutes apiece). There are slower sections for the deep contemplation of your own self-inflicted misery and your eventual eradication, but everything's surrounded in a wrathful fury. One Master are here to tear it up. _Reclusive Blasphemy_ is the band's third full-length in ten years, and the beast is in the pudding.

Each song sets its own agenda and wanders through its own horrific corridors, but it is equally accurate to say that they are all related facets of a single gristly approach to black metal as reactionary rebel music. The artwork supports the music's dark imagery, with visualist Dave Fogg providing spare-but-ferocious compact sketches for each track. "At the Hour of Saturn" combines an elongated treble atmosphere with charred, filthy rhythms and Valder's caustic demon vox. "A Cursed and Dismal Mind" slows way down, then fills the space with sick, rotted out chords before kicking everything out into a crackling storm of blast beats and serrated chord fuckery. "Intolerance" marks the shortest -- and unsurprisingly the most consistently thunderous -- of the songs, wallowing in its own agitated corrosion. "Infernal Silence" grafts spikes of speed onto a trudging bleakness in the song's second half, and the titular closer carries that sloth into a grueling spoken-word crawl that eventually finds its hellfire reserves and blasts off into the void.

One Master prove, once again, that raw black metal is as hard to kill as cockroaches and cancer. _Reclusive Blasphemy_ is a welcome companion on your next journey to the brimstone gates or any family picnic.


(article published 8/7/2015)

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