On its self-titled EP, Black Metal act THE KONSORTIUM is able to balance the “grim” sound so often sought after by bands of the genre with a crisp, clean production that allows the music to breathe and to come alive. The grime-soaked vicious crush of the opener, “Under The Black Flag”, sets the tone, not only for the EP itself, but perhaps the rest of the band’s career. Despite the fact that it contains all of the hallmarks of Black Metal, it also includes the surprising addition of clean vocals. While their presence is awkward and a bit haphazard on this track, the mere presence of something different in such a short release is a brave addition by the band and a welcome surprise for the listener. Similar vocalizations occur with a much more effective execution in the slow, grinding dirge of “Decomposers,” a song dripping with appropriate amounts of misanthropy.
The other tracks, “Gasmask Prince” and “Onwards! Onwards!” are fairly conventional, though effective, Black Metal compositions. They blaze away at appropriate speed with equally appropriate harsh vocals and musical aggression. Sure, the band may employ various standard devices of their genre (like replacing the totally lame letter “C” with the much more necro “K” in their name), but this EP is made with surprising skill and fervor. One can only hope that the band continues to develop its sound and is able to expand upon the groundwork laid by this release.
(Online May 16, 2008)