There’s a shocking dearth of quality new releases appearing at present – and this has been the case for quite some time! – so I am going to focus my attention on reliving some glories from the past. The first one to spring to mind is Clandestine Blaze’s nigh-on-perfect third full-length, ‘Fist Of The Northern Destroyer’, which was unleashed with considerable fury upon the pitiful masses in 2002.

Mikko Aspa had already made quite an impression with his opening gambits of intolerance ‘Fire Burns In Our Hearts’ and ‘Night Of The Unholy Flames’, but his undisguised disgust for the world and strong counter culture stance was taken to an even higher level of outright rejection and defiance on this compelling 43-minute album, which erupts with anti-Islamic intent on the title track before the slow-paced, minimalist mantra that is ‘Praising The Self’ cleanses the blood of societal, structured poison – ‘No god, no religion, no race, no culture, no nation, no state, no collective world’. Indeed, the pigeonholes into which we are placed – and enslaved – are nothing short of farcical. Yet mankind accepts them, embraces them even.

The tempo rises again for ‘Doll Of Darkness’, dips a little for the sadistic ‘Ribs Of Virgin’, which brings Side A to a thrilling climax. All the while, Mikko’s innate and uncanny ability to infect and purify the senses with minimal Black Metal majesty is nothing short of enthralling. Here we have inimitable Black Metal art from a true master; one who understands how to wield power without stepping outside the framework established by the founding fathers.

The nihilism and negativity continue to come thick, fast and enthusiastically. ‘There Comes The Day’ is a celebration of the collapse of civilisation (‘There comes the day, when ideologies fall down, order turns to chaos, man forgets his humanity’); the terrifying ‘Goat – Creative Alienation’ is one of the first CB tracks to feature experimentalism crossing over from the artist’s non-BM activities, while parting shots do not get much better than the tremendous, chilling ten-minute closer ‘I Have Seen…’, the seventh deadly sin staining an iconic, unapologetic release.

Evilometer: 666/666