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Khthoniik Cerviiks - Æequiizoiikum [Iron Bonehead - 2020]

Mixing black, death, and experimental, Germany's Khthoniik Cerviiks return once again to Iron Bonehead, this time with their second full length, Æequiizoiikum. Eight tracks of grim, suffocating mayhem, KC churn forth vile, intriguing metal that defies timeline. At times, Æequiizoiikum sounds straight out of the early nineties, and others, just tantalizingly into metal's future. And with spelling wild enough to make Slade jealous, KC really have a style of their own.

Like a robot crawling from the ashes of a Norwegian church fire in the early 90's, Æequiizoiikum is black/death intensity in a bleeping, blooping, noisy shell. Bookended by off kilter, noise laden tracks, this album is meaty with grim and dank metal. This cacophonous trio deftly switch between mid-paced and blasting blackness with intriguing, somewhat sea shanty-esque breakdowns interspersed within. Murky but not lo-fi, Æequiizoiikum uses the overabundance of frequencies to the fullest effect. Filling the spectrum with instrumentation and sparse electronics, KC is often a maelstrom of sound pummeling the listener with bleak tones. The vocals sit in a great location of rough and brutal, but not oversaturated or shrieking. Their power adds force to the buzzing guitars and pounding percussion, and an overall beefiness of sound to the album. Riffing more like death in black metal clothing, there are more changes and cleverness afoot than typical pieces of this genre mix. And, as mentioned above, the opening and closing tracks take the envelope the metal with some out of the box, noisy sonic mayhem.

On the surface, Khthoniik Cerviiks looks to be a goofball entry in the extreme metal annals. Thankfully, under the hood there is some really grim and interesting metal shredding about. The bleak stew of buzzing, riffing, pounding, and growling is served up in a noisy bowl, fit for cacophonous consumption. Iron Bonehead continues to put out KC material, and after hearing  Æequiizoiikum, one will fully understand why.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Paul Casey
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