THY WINTER KINGDOM / PERMIXTIO - Gnosis / Resurezzione (BLACK TEARS OF DEATH - Split CD 2012)
Out of the blue two Italian black metal hordes attack… and I actually hoped that they’ll deliver some killer pieces of music, as recently I hardly ever was disappointed by the blackened bands from Italy (Janvs, Spite Extreme Wing, Imago Mortis, to name just few). But I honestly never heard of either Thy Winter Kingdom or Permixtio, so the curiosity was big. But now I am after few listens of the split release “Gnosis / Resurezzione” and I can say that I feel not impressed by one of those bands at all, while the second one is not bad at all, so the overall impression is mixed. It is quite sad that a promising band has to share the split release with another, which is so utterly mediocre and forgettable that it lowers the quality of the release so much.
Of the two I definitely liked Permixtio’s music more. I have a feeling like they are more comfortable and certain of how to create a dark, morbid black metal atmosphere and use better riffs and songs for it. I think that despite the rawness and overall obscurity their material does not make an impression of being so primitive and harsh as Thy Winter Kingdom is. Their songs are just way more interesting, better composed and arranged and the ideas for cold, atmospheric black metal, in the vein of some early Norwegian albums, even “For All Tid”, are surprisingly good. Yeah, I can say that I definitely enjoyed those two songs from Permixtio (the third one is a piano instrumental track), they evoke such great atmosphere like the one in “Resurrezione II” (which reminds me Xasthur a little) that it definitely is a must to hear, if you’re into this sort of music. Yeah, definitely good stuff.
Thy Winter Kingdom definitely could have been a good band, as there are some really cool riffs in these four tracks they have on this CD, I like the opening theme of “The Serpent’s Spell” for instance. But the problem is that for every good riff there are three motifs, which I don’t like at all and this song, which I just mentioned is a good example. Style wise it may remind you a little of Tulus, speaking of the cold atmosphere and raw playing, but I just cannot understand why the hell did they decide to use some truly idiotic ideas in this lengthy song? Like the one at the “The Serpent's Spell” 1:30 minute – oh come on, this just doesn’t sound good. And it is like that all the time – for instance I really like that doomy, sorrowful fragment in “The Dance of the Ancient Queen”, where the violin creates astonishing atmosphere and then the band sounds really intriguing, but as a whole this song again fails to impress in 100%. Apart from what I just wrote, I must also say that the drum machine definitely does not help Thy Winter Kingdom in reaching the quality, which I look for in black metal, although generally I think that the sound is OK, guitar tone is fine, reminding me some old Horna releases… But who cares... Thy Winter Kingdom belongs to the category of third class black metal bands, which might their fans, but for most maniacs they are just forgettable. You know, some people like such bands like Judas Iscariot, Horna, Maniac Butcher, etc, even despite their great mediocrity and impossibility to impress with something exceptional. Those people may like Thy Winter Kingdom also… I pass.
So, if I was going to resume this split then I must say that I feel quite torn apart. From one hand there’s Permixtio, really good black metal project (composed of sole member, Umbra) and their part of this CD makes me very eager about the full length album “Il Canto dei Sepolcri”, which I must check out. But Thy Winter Kingdom from the other hand is so dull and disappoints… Hmm, I guess they’re not utterly bad and in the end one can survive those few minutes spent with them, but don’t expect anything extraordinary. Definitely though “Gnosis / Resurezzione” is a good offer for die hard underground black metal fans.
Final rate: 67/100 (or 40 – Thy Winter Kingdom and 75 – Permixtio)