THIRD NAIL – Theos-Haimaton (2022)REVIEW

Though he wounds, he also binds with salve in a sadistic loop of cyclic ferality as the wretched ‘God’ of choice for legions of cannibalistic, psychically devolved mutants whom fester in the excrement of their unthinking hovelled civilizations. In complete inversion of the nagelkreuz, twisted in the festering wounds of Christ’s snake-oiled carrion, comes the final nail to stand upon, to extend all suffering to the delight of fomenting creator. Galician black metal solo act Third Nail is the force driving the final blow upon the skull’s entanglement, a project unbound by serpent speech and interred by way of purely overflowing inspiration. ‘Theos-Haimaton‘ manifests as a four part escalation of the willfully defiant project’s second EP under a personalized black metal directive — To cut through falsest reality ’til there are no more throats left.

Of course it should be no surprise that I am a fan of Third Nail as it is the work of Balc, a fellow whom has produced some of my favorite releases of the last several years between the incredible Balmog, the underrated Witchfyre, and various other groups. This project speaks a language close to that of post-‘Svmma FideBalmog releases to some degree but largely because it features some of his more recent guitar phrasing/arrangements which’ve become somewhat signature. The major statement of purpose held by this particular project is to capture a most potent vision of black metal ideals from the artist’s perspective, aiming for an arcane and ruthless display which conveys dangerous, irreverent actions. Well, the tone of the piece is believably there though this recording is much more polished here compared to their self-produced debut EP ‘Shepherd of Wolves‘ (2021) which is included as a bonus on this tracklist. Where this material advances beyond the harried spirals of its predecessor largely lies in refinement of successive fluidic statements, a quickly crumbling edifice beneath the feet that forces the body to contort and tremble within view of a very real death.

When viewed as a guitar driven experience most of what Third Nail does has a unique folkish traipse to its movement, not exactly flamenco mystica but similarly physical in its directive pulse which is aided by staggered rock beats with distinctly black metal cymbal work tattering away in tandem with the warped riffing that greets us for the first couple of minutes of opener “Hosanna”. From there the action of this song intensifies in its sway, charging harder at the heart of its statement and releasing a far more morbid curse than expected as we course beyond the ~3:34 minute mark. From the perspective of someone still listening to ‘Eve‘ fairly often this piece in particular felt like an idea spawned from similar structural inspiration that’d pulled back into a more directly black metal centerpiece, a fine way to kick off this thread either way. The surreal atmospheric burn of “Red Litany” pulls into the right spot following “Hosanna”, no less indirect in its use of typical black metal features yet a more directly tunneled carve into the momentum of the EP, which heats from this point.

Though I can easily name “Engulf the Soul” as my favorite piece of the four here it is largely because of its placement and function as the galloping apex of the full listen, an aggressive and fairly blunt progression thrashing forth for its duration, per a couple of slight refrains before the brief closer “Eden Stars” sends us off into the fading depths. The progression of the full listen is that of dissent, a strong protestation up front which ramps up ’til the climax gives way to bitter endpoint. What we lose in terms of the blasting wreckage of ‘Shepherd of Wolves‘ is well-traded for the lucid, dynamic mania of ‘Theos-Haimaton‘ and in turn it feels like a vivid step up, all the more convincing in its caustic spell cast. Of course we can credit Moontower Studios with bringing these finer details to light while ensuring a hateful, merciless affect is not lost but this finer result also comes from these songs being far more developed, as if strung together with a vision for how they would land inverted in a row. The listening experience was overwhelming yet impressive to start and with some familiarity earned it’d become more memorable per listen. A moderately high recommendation.

Moderately high recommendation. (79/100)

Rating: 7.5 out of 10.
LABEL(S):BlackSeed Productions
RELEASE DATE:March 25th, 2022

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