The ever-fertile and -filthy Finnish soil yields another foul blackened crop in the form of ‘The Holy Law in Total Ruin’, the debut full-length from Nocturnal Sorcery. This is a release that shamelessly exudates the adversarial spirit of its native land, delivering nine tracks of classic Finnish-sounding Black Metal in the vein of Horna, Sargeist, Azazel, Behexen and so forth. Fuck innovation and progression.

Riffs that will chill your bones combine with blood-curdling shrieks, possessed drumming and a sparse sprinkling of devilish synths to produce 45 minutes of scorching, searing retribution with a soaring sense of melody and a decidedly triumphant feel. Okay, we’ve experienced this before many times … but do we love Black Metal for what it is or not?

While ‘The Holy Law in Total Ruin’ does stick faithfully and rigidly to tried and trusted formulae, it manages for the most part not to come across as derivative. It’s certainly superior to albums that attempt to push the boundaries of Black Metal to places where they clearly should not be pushed.

Everything feels very familiar on here and this is a recording that could easily have been made two or even three decades ago. It’s timeless in a way and elevated from good to great by the inclusion of particularly memorable opening and closing offerings – ‘Ro’iheyav Ro’ihey Mihole’ Rem’oyav / Mephistophelean Wine’ and the supreme, enchanting instrumental ‘The Last Ray of Ihvh’s Light’ (a truly majestic parting shot, where Nocturnal Sorcery demonstrate some personality and flair of their own) respectively – as well as the disturbingly creepy and unsettling sonic nightmare that is ‘Down the Valley of Damnation’.

Evilometer: 555/666