This is an interesting split album brought to us by Forcefield Records. Two American bands presenting a long and epic composition. The artwork and title is all about the occult arts that are often connected with black metal music. The music is somewhat different.
Cough is opening the ritual with an eighteen minutes mesmerizing tune. "The Gates of Madness" is the title track of their song, and is more related to funeral doom than black metal as a musical genre. It is slow in pace and bone crushing is the riffing. You can hear some bells in the first parts too. Then comes the vocals: greatly wicked and ghostly rasps. Those are perfectly suiting the musical direction and vibe of their art. About half way through the song, clean vocals, a change of pace and rhythm as well as a guitar solo occur to break the repetitiveness, before the doomed feel resumes. Following act, The Wounded Kings pursue in great fashion. A darkly melodious six minutes introduction is what greets the listener. One can hear Hammond organ, distorted lead and percussions pulsating a mean mid-crushing tempo. I found the vocals to be perhaps a bit out of place here, since the clean tones are not really fitting the doomly crushing anthem of darkness. On the other hand, off the two compositions, "Curse of Chains" has a more melodious feel. Besides the heavy dose already mentioned are some ambient touches as well with more Hammond organ and calm piano parts that are nicely closing the album. If only Cough's vocalist would lend his pipes to The Wounded Kings!
Fans of dark music and occult arts should be on the lookout for this split and their respective work.
1) Cough – The Gates of Madness
2) The Wounded Kings – Curse of Chains