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...And Darkness Was Over The Surface Of The Deep

Ukraine Country of Origin: Ukraine

...And Darkness Was Over The Surface Of The Deep
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Buy on: Bandcamp
Type: Full-Length
Release Date: January 16th, 2023
Genre: Black
1. Inexplicable Obsession
2. ...And Darkness Was Over The Surface Of The Deep
3. Eschatological Gangrene (Destroyed Katechon)
4. Final Judgment (Phosphorus Fire)
5. Abyss Calls Upon Abyss, With The Voice Of The Oceans Of Sands
6. Plague Requiem
7. Eschatological Hoax



Review by Felix on March 23, 2024.

For more than two years now, the Ukraine is under fire. Sometimes I think one cannot win a war against Russia, but in World War I they were defeated by the Central Powers (but among other things due to the October Revolution) and the Afghan rebels were pretty successful as well with their war of attrition back in the eighties of the last century. Either way, Do Skonu’s work sends greetings from the warzone and its musical content creates a warzone as well.

I must acknowledge that I am not familiar with the complete discography of Do Skonu, but as far as I can see, their albums follow different approaches. This is a good thing as long as this mindset results in glorious full-lengths like ...And Darkness Was Over The Surface Of The Deep. The songs are raging over the battlefield like almost unstoppable tanks. A few, but really only a few atmospheric moments show up. Fortunately, they do not dilute the general aggression of the material. Quite the opposite, they give the mostly fast-paced songs an even better aroma. Maxim Rodin, the mastermind behind this album, has found a pretty perfect balance between pitch black frenzy and sinister melancholy. The latter gains the upper hand in the fantastic 'Abyss Calls Upon Abyss, With The Voice Of The Oceans Of Sands'. Frankly, I never thought I would ever listen to a song with such a title, haha. But yes, especially the accusing lines of the instrumental part create a great mood. This part shows a nearly oriental touch, an oppressive foreignness and just like the wild, high velocity ending, it contributes its share to make this track to pure gold.

An outstanding feature of both the songs and the production is their enormous density. ...And Darkness Was Over The Surface Of The Deep does not sound porous or holey in any way. There is a lot of reverb on the voice, the guitars claim a lot of space for themselves and the drums beat the last holes shut. No doubt, the session drummer does a good job, but Maxim (vocals, guitars, music, lyrics, mixing, mastering, cover art and layout, wow!) is responsible for the lion’s share to the surprisingly great success of this album. It is kicked off by 'Inexplicable Obsession' and its fury, its ruthlessness and its storm of steel lends the entire album a very martial touch right from the start. The following title track heads in the same direction. The picture that comes to my mind is the one of a soldier who runs through the trenches while the enemy’s massive artillery makes the earth shake around him. And the fire continues with 'Eschatological Gangrene (Destroyed Katechon)' – the only weak element of this track is its somewhat uninspired end, a quite primitive fade out. Anyway, already the first elastic guitar tones of the next song grab the listener by the collar again.

Do Skonu naturally fail to reinvent the wheel with this work, but they follow a pretty individual course. They do not copy Scandinavian or German role models. Perhaps one can identify some Bathory aesthetics here, maybe this is the album Quorthon (R.I.P.) would record today if he had to explain his evolution from “The Return…...” to “Under The Sign Of The Black Mark”. But perhaps my subconsciousness is just possessed by the idea of finding at least some trace elements of early Bathory in each and every black metal album. Be that as it may, nobody takes care of my subconsciousness, not even myself and so I can only take my hat off to the Ukraine – for delivering such a fantastic album and for more than two years of unbroken resistance.

Rating: 8.8 out of 10

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