Originally available as a split cassette under the Crepusculo Negro banner, this splendid split was revived in limited edition wax format by Klaxon a few months back and I’ll cut to the chase: this is mandatory stuff if you appreciate unusual, underground Black Metal. Over 50 minutes of fantastic, raw, unsophisticated black gold.

Ashdautas is part of the Black Twilight Circle and they offer forth the 22-and-a-half-minute-long ‘Vermillion Stars in Depths Familiar’ on Side A as well as the much shorter ‘Choirs Of Vice’, which for some reason has been carved onto one side of an accompanying 7” single. I’m not sure how practical it might have been to put the band’s entire 30 minutes of material onto one side of the 12-incher but it certainly would have made things a little more convenient for the listener, i.e. me.

Anyway, minor gripe aside, the actual music is stunning. From both bands. While Ashdautas are slightly more occult in feel, shimmering and shapeshifting but also raw as fuck, Bone Awl deliver – as ever – a more punky take on Black Metal that’s way more interesting and palatable than most other punk / BM hybrids I’ve chanced upon.

With shorter songs that get straight to the point (and often end suddenly without any real warning), Bone Awl hold their own on this essential release, a record which proves that there’s real life down (t)here in the deepest underground.

Evilometer: 666/666