Review by Michael on December 15, 2020.
One of the longest serving black metal bands in the Netherlands Funeral Winds, who are now based in the Czech Republic, strikes again. The look at the cover makes me wonder - didn't Katharsis (Germany) have a similar devil's face on their "666" album? Let's see if Essence musically goes in the same direction as "666", or if it is a bit more accessible than the rather sick and disturbing albums of the Germans.
It begins with a somewhat sluggish start, but the tempo is soon increased significantly. Hellchrist Xul's voice sounds like it should for an old school black metal album, very grim and evil, the guitars are sawing nasty and spread a very uncomfortable feeling. The tracks are almost all kept in a fairly high to very high tempo and remind of old Darkthrone, old Mayhem or even Katharsis. However, I feel the pieces by far are not as chaotic as Katharsis, but they are quite a bit more accessible, which is mainly due to the partly very rhythmically played drums. The production is as you would expect from an OSBM band that performs as "evil" as possible - pretty rough and unpolished. The most recommendable song is 'The Bowls of Wrath and Ancient Hate', which is quite reminiscent of Darkthrone in the slower passages and is probably the most accessible of all the songs on the CD.
All in all Essence has become a pretty solid OSBM that doesn't come up with any surprises. Fans of the above mentioned bands should definitely give it a listen.
Rating: 7 out of 10179