Building on the promise demonstrated on their debut full-length, ‘Gånget Äro Ljuset’, six years hitherto, mystical Swedish quintet Mystruin deliver four substantial tracks of obscure, philosophical and welcomingly nihilistic Black Metal on follow-up, ‘Calcination’ – a twisted and deranged journey through untold labyrinths of the mind, destination: nothingness.

Insanity and madness abound across the 38-minute duration of this nightmarish album, particularly in the schizophrenic vocal delivery, which fluctuates from one version of a madman to another, tormented screams and shouts and snarls and howls and bellows suggesting that a great deal of mental anguish and suffering lies behind the creation of ‘Calcination’ and indeed Mystruin’s manifesto.

There is no light to be found on here, no salvation … only complete darkness and nothingness, the omniscience of death and the eternal void triumphant. A sombre and ominous atmosphere prevails throughout, no more so than on the epic 13-minute closer, ‘Eldens själ talar – Within Life, Beyond Death’, where the trade-off between Swedish and English vocals underlines the disjointed and bipolar nature of proceedings.

Very reminiscent of Kringa at times, with hints of Armagedda, Mystruin have crafted an accomplished sophomore full-length that is anything but boring. There is a lot going on and a significant amount of sonic variety but if you are seeking something uplifting to get you through these terrible times then you might be better advised to look elsewhere.

Evilometer: 555/666