Debut blast of doom-ed orthodox blackness from this SF horde, a furious, and epic squall of frenzied guitars and furiously blasting drums, of demonic vokills, soaring melodies and grim ambience. This is another one of those records that ditches all of the experimentalism and avant-this and post-that of much of the metal we dig, and still pushes all of our buttons, offering up something true and pure, something beholden to the classics for sure, but with a sound that takes those varied influences and melds them into something pretty fantastic, moody and emotive, passionate and majestic, the sort of creeping blackened doom and depressive black buzz that we never get sick off, the songs slipping easily from frantic and furious, to lumbering and anguished, usually in the same song. Plaintive mournful melodies, draped over doomic dirges, drift right into explosive blasts of black buzz, inexorably linking the two. The fact that these guys are equally adept at both, only helps seal the deal. The sound too is a big part of it, managing to sound both raw and primitive, lush and expansive, infusing the brittle buzz of black metal with some serious doomic heft, and shading that melancholic doom with swaths of dark black miserablism. And beyond that, these guys can actually write a song, with many of the melodies here, the sort that end up stuck in your head for days. All of the songs here are pretty great, but the closer, the epic 12+ minute "By His Unflinching Hand", might be the best of the bunch, certainly the most unique, ditching much of the blackness in exchange for something moodier and more epic, the song lopes and meanders, the guitars unfurling darkly, the melodies mournful and melancholy, strip away the vocals and you'd be in serious Neurosis / Isis / Godspeed territory, a smoldering slowbuild epic of the highest order, one that creeps and lumbers, offers up some blackened skitter, before a cool super dynamic, stop/start passage, that we wish would have gone on WAY longer, and which leads into the haunting coda, all whipping winds and acoustic guitar, bleak and somber and the perfect finish to a pretty fantastic record.