Thy Repentance / Nuclear Winter - _Split_
(Noughtscape Productions, 2003)
by: Pedro Azevedo (7 out of 10)
This very sleekly presented split CD, Noughtscape's first release (limited to 500 hand-numbered copies), consists of Thy Repentance's _Control Shot or Halls of the Red_ and Nuclear Winter's _Ode to War (Apotheosis of Hate)_. Neither band plays your average black metal: Thy Repentance focus on mingling it with ambient and militaristic influences, while Nuclear Winter opt for the hypnotic and post-apocalyptic. Thy Repentance feature a rather prominent bass in their setup, and alternate ambient parts and straightforward, evenly paced, cold black metal. Their six tracks were packed into a continuous one for greater impact, ensuring a continuous flow between the ambient and black metal elements. Midway through the resulting 27 minute track, one is surprised to hear a relatively long acoustic guitar interlude; its desolate sound fits the atmosphere well, and it fades away as a crowd's sampled cries of fear rise and give way to Thy Repentance's black metal once again. Thy Repentance's track ends in comparatively silly fashion thanks to some poor vocals.

Nuclear Winter contribute two tracks, weighing in at over half an hour in all. Hypnotic, gloomy, based on atmospheric keyboard dirges and a guitar buzz in the background, Nuclear Winter go as far as replacing the old black metal rasp with a despondent, morose distorted voice to increase the doom in their sound. Variations are few and far between, as Nuclear Winter make no compromise in achieving their hypnotic musical goal. Early on, the repetitive pattern of the percussion is rather inadequate for the music, but it eventually changes into something equally simple and less jarring and ends up changing back and forth between the two. The second, eight minute long track, is almost entirely dark ambient and features only some spoken vocals, with the guitars and drums (and bells!) only coming in near the end. Although different from the first track, it maintains the same general feeling.

This split CD harvests a significant amount of its marks from the atmosphere it manages to create, as neither band's black metal is amazing per se. Nevertheless, the two of them together, combined with the ambient bits, sombre layout and the whole attitude, ensure this is a release that dedicated fans of underground black metal should definitely consider acquiring.


(article published 30/4/2003)

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