Kerasfóra - Official Website

Six Nights Beyond The Serpent's Threshold

Chile Country of Origin: Chile

1. Of Night And Fire
2. Of Omniscience And Mystery
3. Of Consternation And Ecstasy
4. Of Enlightenment And Fall
5. Of Darkness And Confusion
6. Of Serpent And Return

Review by Fernando on June 21, 2024.

It seems that the most unique extreme metal scenes pop out of countries that endured hardship and oppression, as the scars from those type of decades tend to fester in many ways, and for Chile, who to this day deal with the fallout of a ruthless dictatorship, have a thriving and dedicated metal scene, and they're not afraid to get weird. Enter Kerasfóra, a bizarre and mesmerizing new entity out of Chile that's now making their presence known with their debut album Six Nights Beyond the Serpent's Threshold through Iron Bonehead Productions.

I went into this record completely blind, and didn't knew what to expect, as the cover art didn't give me a clear picture beyond this being a black metal project, which actually helped, this record is one of the weirdest I've heard in quite some time, as this is a black metal record that draws from obscure synth music, psychedelia and post-punk while keeping a pitch black rawness. While many black metal bands have taken influence from those styles of music in the past, this record uses those styles within the context of raw and atmospheric black metal, the result is quite unorthodox, but no less compelling.

Aside from the basic instrumentation within black metal of guitars, bass, drums and keyboards with appropriately despondent and wretched vocals, the artist of the same name makes extensive use of synthesizers and acoustic guitars to create a sound that's extremely sinister yet alluring in a distressing way. The music has an allure that's completely unique to this project, and it plays upon discomfort, not just emotionally, the music conjures feelings of disorientation and dread, but also sonically, the distorted and noisy guitars juxtaposed with the melancholic melodies of the synths and acoustic guitars sound wrong, you feel like these sounds don't belong together, but they somehow do, and you're then drawn in, like you're hypnotized and compelled to jump into a chasm. I'll freely admit that it took me several spins of this record and going back to this project's debut EP before actually getting into the music.

It's hard to talk about the more technical aspects of the instrumentation because the songwriting and compositions are contradictory and antagonic with each other, in the sense that if you remove the synths, the album sounds like traditional atmospheric black metal, long droning riffs and steady rhythmic drumming, and the synths on the other hand are lush, melodious and overwhelming, very much in line with ambient psychedelia and the more avant-garde sounds and leanings of 70's electronic and industrial music, and 80's psychedelia. In a very bizarre way, the black metal is both a foundation and an aside to the music, and the end result is somehow pure, raw and unfiltered black metal while being extremely experimental and out of left field, which in turn hearkens back to very early days of the subgenre, when bands would try everything at their disposal to see how far they could go in making dark and intense music without worrying about what's 'true' or not, and on those merits, Kerasfóra truly succeeds.

It's truly an outstanding display of sheer creativity and dedication, I have to agree with the promo description that this is far more extreme and ‘true' than a lot of other black metal bands out there, Kerasfóra is a truly unique project with a sound that's completely it's own.

Rating: 10 out of 10