Bathyum - Rituals of the Damned (2016, Heathen Tribes)
The so-called second wave of Black Metal of the early 1990’s has been a huge influence on many formations of Metal. The transition of the first four albums of Bathory to the Unholy trinity of DarkThrone has carried a shitload of great and not so great albums and bands. Is it still possible to take what was at the time an evolution in the counter culture that Black Metal was inventing and make it as interesting without falling into the obvious nostalgia of this long gone era?
With Rituals of the Damned, Wyvern, the man behind Bathyum, gives a contemporary almost post-rock twist to early Bathory. His music is rooted in the Black Metal soils of the 1980’s and 1990’s but the slower sections and the production has this vibrant yet mellower meditative spirit.
This fusion is nicely done and despite a struggle in his two identities of a rawer juvenile sound and a more mature approach in the slower sections, Bathyum shows signs of a probable and capable composer of his own personality once he’ll be able to let go the signature of his influences and hold his own.
So yes, it invokes a nostalgia of the past Black Metal's earliest battles but seems to be ready to get past them and elevate his craft for future battles.