This was released nearly two years ago, but it’s timeless. I’ve had it a while but decided to give it a spin again today and was reminded just how good a split release ‘Ritual de Privação’ is. Translated as ‘Deprivation Ritual’, it’s arguably one of the best Black Metal collaborations of all – and in fairness there have been some stupendous ones down through the years!

Lythany is the vehicle of InThyFlesh vocalist Sataere and – 2006 demo aside –  this split is the only proper release he has recorded thus far under that moniker (more to come, hopefully…). It’s slow-to-mid-paced morbid Black Metal full of emotion and genuine spirit. The word cult is overused in reviews but … well … I’m sure you know what I’m getting at.

Solidão’ kicks proceedings off in enchanting fashion and for the next six minutes ‘Fragmentos’ fills the listener with despair and dejection, before ‘Acto De Negação’ (‘Act of Denial’, in English) both serenades and disgusts the subject, coming through my speakers and making me feel disappointed to be alive yet elated to have such a good slab of music in my house. All in all, the four songs on here from Lythany are absolutely superb.

Vulto is also Portuguese but a little more mysterious and even more unpolished and I have no idea what the line-up of this nebulous entity is. Not that it matters. The music continues to impress immensely. ‘Desespero’ lays down a worthy marker for the second act, a soaring slice of depressive majesty – rawer and thinner than Lythany’s offerings but no less interesting. Production values are out the window by now, you’ll no doubt be glad to hear.

Whereas the first four songs sounded like they were recorded in a forest, these ones are at first more akin to drugged-out squatters jamming in a slum in some concrete jungle. Garage-y Black Metal. I think it could be the drum sound that gives me that impression; the more I listen, the rest of Vulto’s music contains that ancient, far-away BM feeling we all know and love. The sample and overall feeling of despondency on ‘Chuva Maldita’ weigh down heavily, like a storm in the soul.

The overall feel of ‘Ritual de Privação’ is authentically underground and the music is of an exceptionally high standard if you’re a Black Metal aficionado. It conjures a nasty, evil vibe and should make you a happy bunny if you manage to get your paws on a copy.

Evilometer: 555/666