Tartarus - Of Grimness and Atrocity (EP) review

Band: Tartarus
Album: Of Grimness and Atrocity (EP)
Genre: Black Metal
Country: UAE
Release Date: July 31st, 2014
Label: Haarbn Productions
Reviewer: Karim Tarek
Rating: 8.5/10

Hailing from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Tartarus is one of the newest Black Metal bands to the Middle Eastern scene. With Zymolust Ravenson on guitars and vocals, Kris Kudla on guitars, Rippon "Obscurus" Madtha on drums, and Bader "Ghocifer" Nauman on bass duties, Tartarus was founded back in 2013 and have only just released their first EP this month.
Entitled “Of Grimness and Atrocity”, the 5-song EP that resembles quite a head start for such a promising band that seemingly has a lot to offer in the future. 

The EP starts off with a mystic intro track called “Seeshot” that delivers nothing more than an ambient noise accompanied by some indistinct high-pitched speech that gets you excited and tingled knowing that there is some serious blasting on its way to your ears.

The second track of the EP is called “Axes (of Hatred)”. It starts off as a typical mid-tempo Black Metal song with some very wise placements of drum lines and vocal efforts. After it had given you the impression of a mediocre non-aggressive Black Metal endeavor, there comes the first blast beat line of the EP that would normally render you hopeful of a more aggressive, fast-paced release, but then again “Axes (of Hatred)” further advances with the same original pace it started off with, which personally made me doubtful of my prospective level of enjoyment of the EP.

The following two tracks “Cosmic Storms” and the title track “Of Grimness and Atrocity” came to negate such theory of the EP being rather mediocre and generally mid-tempo. Reminiscent of the golden era of Black Metal, the early 1990s Scandinavian wave, Tartarus managed to change the direction of the EP to the better throughout those two particular tracks. Drumming turned out to be pretty bestial, just like pure Black Metal percussion should be, along with riffs that sounded like they came straight from hell. Moreover, the two tracks managed to capture the evil quintessence of genuine Black Metal, reflecting obvious influences by legendary bands like Dissection, Emperor, and Lord Belial.

Adding a cherry on top of the cake, Tartarus ended the EP with a cover of one of Black Metal’s timeless songs and Emperor’s all-time gem, “I Am the Black Wizards”. The cover was pretty simple, precise, and consummate in terms of the delivery of all the main elements that made up such a track that nears perfection.

All in all, Tartarus is a very promising band that brings back memories from an era that is typically a favorite for diehard Black Metal fans, adopting all the grimness, evil, and genuineness of the genre. Having covered an Emperor track hints that they are following the right influences. I personally enjoyed listening to “Of Grimness and Atrocity” and I believe that it reflected a huge amount of potential that the band could achieve in their promising future, raising the bar of expectations for yet another release. 

Highlights: Of Grimness and Atrocity

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