Channelled most conspicuously under the infamous Drowning the Light banner, Azgorh’s dedication / contribution to true underground Black Metal across the last three decades has been nothing short of remarkable / immeasurable and – rather than running out of motivation, commitment or energy – Australia’s most authentic adversarial entity continues to copiously and irrepressibly deliver his inimitable style of raw yet majestic audial art with ageless, nay ancient verve and vigour.

Always possessed of a singular vision and drawing stimulation from a seemingly-infinite pool of inspiration, Drowning the Light has just added to its bountiful and ever-burgeoning discography with the simultaneous release of not one but two brand-new EPs – the equally-impressive ‘Enslaved by the Cave’ and ‘Violet Mercury & Moonlit Sorcery’, each offering forth 20 minutes of peerless, unparalleled vampyric black magick summoned from the eerie, secluded, nocturnal mountainscape and surrounding woodlands that both haunt Azgorh and serve as his muse.

As the title intimates, ‘Violet Mercury & Moonlit Sorcery’ comprises a brace of forlorn, ritualistic otherworldly curses: the stirring, evocative 13-minute ‘Violet Mercury’ and the ominous, dread-evoking but beguiling and enchanting ‘Moonlit Sorcery’. The former presents prime, nostalgic DtL; raw, distant BM laced malevolently with lingering melancholy but also paradoxically uplifting. Azgorh’s trademark croaks reverberate painfully across the aeons like the persistent, deep-rooted, instinctive memory of something long forgotten, but are supplemented in places by clean and folkish singing and appropriate musical accompaniments that spirit the track close to pagan, folk or even perhaps gothic Black Metal terrain. But the emblematic emotive synths, inhuman caws and lo-fi, analogue methodology always underpin proceedings – so it’s trademark Drowning the Light, of course, yet not quite as we know it.

As with all DtL recordings, an insidious sense of melody is the bedrock of ‘Violet Mercury & Moonlit Sorcery’ and the music manages to straddle that often-elusive (to others) frontier between unnerving and beautiful. Sombre, sorrowful and awash with bitter poignancy, ‘Moonlit Sorcery’ brings the EP to an apt close with seven minutes of masterfully composed and executed dungeon synth atmospherics, embellishing the timeless nature of this absorbing release and further extending the unique legacy of the dark, indefatigable driving force behind it. The curse that keeps on giving and there is much, much more to come…

Evilometer: 666/666