Darkestrah – Chong Aryk

Darkestrah are undoubtedly the most important black metal band to have emerged from the Asian lands, and their popularity does not derive mainly from their exotic origins (Kyrgyzstan is certainly not a country known for its metal scene) but from a history, which began at the end of the last century, in which they have six full lengths and more or less as many short works, all of which share a remarkable quality as well as a peculiar sound. The black metal of Darkestrah is inserted in the pagan strand but emerges mainly for the ethnic nuances and an uncommon melodic sense, characteristics to which this last ep Chong Aryk is not an exception, a work that presents, compared to the past, novelties in the line-up; In fact, as we could already notice on the occasion of the single Gift of Mud and Venom released last year, the Iranians Magus and Charuk from Tears Of Fire (the band is completed by the Russian bassist Cerritus, in the line-up since 2016) joined the founder Asbath and his long-time partner Resurgemus. It is likely that the meeting of the two bands’ core members was facilitated by their common residence in Germany, a country to which Darkestrah moved several years ago, as it happened in the past to Tears Of Fire, who were forced to emigrate in order not to incur the religious wrath of the Persian ayatollahs. The union provides its fruits in the form of ethnic impulses of various guises provided by Magus and a heinous scream alternating with evocative clean vocals by the talented Charuk, completing the usual excellent compositional and instrumental work of the hard core of the band. The ep consists of about twenty minutes of music centered on the aforementioned Gift of Mud and Venom, a masterful song at the level of the best production of Darkestrah, while the next two tracks are the harsher but no less valid The Warrior Poet and the shorter Broken Wheel, a sort of melodic fragment that leaves a bitter taste in the mouth only for its brevity. In summary, this is a good return for the Kyrgyz band, awaiting a long-distance test that has been awaited since the 2016 release of Turan.

2021 – Shaytan Productions