Aetranok, to me, represents what seems to be a rise in popularity for Second Wave Black Metal in the US. Since the beginning of the 2010’s, I have seen a fair amount of such bands rise from several different areas of America – And while that by definition means that Aetranok is not even close to being the first of its kind that I have come across, it is the first one I came into contact with this year.
Kingdoms of the Black Sepulcher marks the second full-length release of the band and contains a grand total of seven tracks, spanning forty-three minutes.
Musically, all seven are clearly heavily inspired by the early titans of the genre (the band themselves mention Dark Funeal, Emperor and Thornium and lyrical influences). Their gruff, down-trodden sound paticularly reminds me of Carpathian Forest overall with a few tracks (such as the titular song) with strong emphasis on keyboards, giving them a slightly less roughened feel (instead opting into Dimmu Borgir-like territory on occassion). This tendency is what makes the band stand out from many others like it that has popped up in the new decade. Unlike many others that I have come across, Aetranok have mixed up their music a bit, creating their own sound – As opposed to sticking to the tried-and-true formula so many have used before them. This makes them more noticeable as a band (as having your own sound is always an advantage), but at the cost of some of the older fans, I’d reckon.
That being said, Kingdoms of the Black Sepulcher is a decent release, well worth a spin if you are into a modern spin on the Black Metal genre – And even if you are not, I would still recommend “Towers ov Arezura” for its aggression and old-times feel alone.
Recommended for fans of old Dimmu Borgir, to some extent.