With “Darkness Impenetrable,” Embrace of Thorn’s fourth full-length offering of black metal death ritual, the band continues the path towards aural oblivion that it first blazed with “…for I See Death in Their Eyes…, ” continued with “Atonement Ritual,”and most recently had trodden with “Praying for Absolution.” Although the band has undergone another change in lineup, the continuity and quality of its musical vision and product remains stoically unscathed, owing in great part to its two most stalwart members, Archfiend DevilPig (vocals / guitars) and Herald of Demonic Pestilence (guitars). While many death metal bands feel compelled to rely on a seemingly never-ending array of sometimes disparate riffs (with varying degrees of success), Embrace of Thorns continues to express its disdain for all that acclaims divinity through a formula of hypnotically repetitive riffs enveloped in ritualistically spewed vocal commands. Instead of succumbing to the perceived need to include as many riffs per song as possible, each song progresses through subtle variations on an established riff, shifts in the textures of the layered guitars, changes in the percussive patterns, or a combination of these elements. The result is a song structure that evolves naturally, entrancing and rendering the listener insurmountably vulnerable to the invading darkness.
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