Balmog – Pillars of Salt (Bearded Occult Black Metal)

 

Yeah now we got some Spain up in this. When it comes to metal, Spain kills. And I don't think I've heard occult black metal killed as much as I have from Spain. I mean so killed it's kulled, plus the dudes doing it usually have these epic and genuinely scary beards they flit about with more dominance than some hipster tossing their lady locks to a few close friends. Balmog, who've been in the scene for almost 20 years now, are yet another one to put in the "why Spain kills" folder. This is only an EP, mind you, but it's all you need for today because I have to fit a lot of stuff in that kills this week. So grow a real beard, engage in the occult (for less than 20 minutes), and learn why Spain kills this genre, and many others, but just this one for today.

   

Balmog's beard cred is pure, and even in a short, less-than-twenty-minutes romp, they prove why. One of their strengths is clever riffing and vocal variety. Can they black metal crush? Yes, but they don't always need to do that, like the rest of the world. They'll suddenly slow down into a plaintive pause, burst out with crunchy push, and then beard strangle you into a blackened, punk-styled, chant-covered rally. But the real catch is Balmog's occult flair, which fits surprisingly well and accentuates the less typical moments so they shimmer like metal ore in black smoke. Add some echo like Mayhem wishes it could do, and there's no denying Spain kills. There's a seriousness to Balmog's sound that's not often done properly, and part of me thinks it's because one, they're Spanish, and two, these dudes don't merely mimic the wish to be beast, they are beast. Listen and see.

 

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Written by Stanley, Devourer of Souls

Balmog – Pillars of Salt
Black Seed Productions, War Anthem Records
Cover Art: Beatriz Castillo
4.1 / 5