One of the most promising developments in American black metal in recent years, SEVER combine bestial ferocity with spectral atmosphere and surprisingly deft dynamics. The work of one Ma-Kaxul, SEVER made their public debut with the Sadistic Sorcery demo in 2022, courtesy of IRON BONEHEAD. That demo indeed pointed the way for SEVER’s sound: at once primal and magickal. And now Ma-Kaxul reveals the wider breadth of his vision…
Thus, less than a year after that debut demo, SEVER unleashes their first full-length: At Midnight, By Torch Light. Simultaneously familiar and foreign, invoking cult names as varied as Nazxul, Kvist, Norway’s Odium, and Australia’s Darklord or even ’90s Demoncy and Abigor, the swells of violence across the album’s six-song/38-minute runtime are firmly situated between bubbling bestiality and cosmic chaos. Straightforward, to be sure, but never simplistic, SEVER’s onward-and-spaceward thrust overwhelms and then hypnotizes, invoking a(n ultraviolent) trance that soon unfolds its many layers of obsidian darkness. Of course, mention must be made of the synth work, skillfully integrated into the (gleamingly obsidian) whole and ably buttressing that swelling violence without softening it one bit. It’s all too easy to get lost in At Midnight, By Torch Light, but it’s a spectral cocoon well worth residing in.
As the sun sets in the west, prepare for lunar sacrifice and wield the hammer of vengeance like an abyssonaut with SEVER’s At Midnight, By Torch Light!