INSTINCT - An Auroral Gathering of Skulls (SCHATTENKULT Produktionen CD 2016)
Darkness spew out another black metal filth, this time it’s UK based Instinct. Well, it’s yet another name, which I was not familiar with, until I got this CD, released by Schattenkult Produktionen. Sorry for that, but I just missed this project before. Verst (the sole Instinct member) managed to release quite many different recordings until now. His newest release titled “An Auroral Gathering of Skulls” is a compilation of various material of Instinct and to be honest, it was tough to get into it, not only because it’s difficult to find interest in a band, which you never heard of before, but also because this CD contains over 70 minutes of various quality music. There are some great songs, but also some, which I could easily skip and simply forget about. The sound is also different through the whole CD, but that actually was not a big problem for me personally.
The best part of the whole compilation are surely songs from “Blackmore Isolationist” EP from 2015. These are some seriously obscure and morbid sounding black metal pieces that I did enjoy and which are fine representatives of harsh, primeval black metal sound. What I like about them is that they do incorporate some melodies into the cold, grim riffage, but also come up with atmospheric pieces like “Conceit, Sapience & Execration”, which is a great song. You can find there even some spoken vocals and keyboards to fill the sound – so, the result is definitely an interesting one and it’s not the usual boring and overdone harsh, primitive black metal. The only part of this EP, which I didn’t like so much, was Blitz cover. But you can always skip these two minutes easily with your remote control, right? By the way, what an odd choice for a cover on a black metal release!
Going further through this compilation, first we get a track called “An Auroral Gathering of Skulls - Part I”, which is an exclusive recording for this CD. It’s another interesting song, especially because it’s more like experimental and instrumental music, so it’s not typical black metal. It slowly develops from ambient beginning into black metal. The riffing, just like on the earlier EP, is almost hypnotizing. The production is quite noisy, but somehow it doesn’t disturb, but fits such style of black metal very well.
I have more problems with following track called “Nocturnal Invocation” (taken from “Albion” CD). The fact that it’s 20 minutes of the same, monotonous playing is something of a challenge for listener to get into. There are some great riffs in it, really, I like it, but damn, this song goes endlessly! It’s just way too much and gets boring after a while.
What else is here? Next couple of songs are taken from various split releases (with Myrrdin and White Medal). They’re older recordings, but such “Chamber Dark” belongs to my faovurite songs on this compilation. It’s quite slow paced, with cleaner production, some melodic accents and generally it’s just different to “Nocturnal Invocation”, but it sounds really killer and I like its cold, dark aura a lot.
Later there are three more songs – each in different vein, each from different year (one of them is an old recording from 2005!) – but they complete the whole album in good way. Overall with “An Auroral Gathering of Skulls” you will get 76 minutes of music, so it’s a lot, but I think that Instinct is worth of your time and money, and this CD should be a good recommendation for black metal fanatics.
Standout tracks: “Blackmore Isolationist”, “Conceit, Sapience & Execration”, “Chamber Dark”, “An Auroral Gathering of Skulls”
Final rate: 75/100