Review: Aiμα/Supremative -Blood Chalices from the Impure Split EP

split-epWritten by Brett Kihlmire

Black metal is not for everyone and that’s a well-known fact. It’s a style designed for horror junkies and card-carrying, unapologetic Satanists, especially the deep underground stuff. Though I’ve never heard Aiμα (transliterated to Aima, meaning blood) or Supremative, I’m always happy to get my hands on a split EP – it’s the perfect way to test the waters.

Coming from Athens, Greece, Aiμα takes one for the team by providing the introduction ‘The Dead’ for this four track extended play. An eerie track filled with ambient sound, creepy whispering, distant groaning and breathing that slowly comes closer, and the crackling of a fire. Though short, it sets the stage quite well, for it gives the feeling of a demonic summoning. Sadly, this counts as one of the band’s two tracks, which is kind of disappointing since it’s just an ambient track.

Picking up where ‘The Dead’ left off, Aiμα makes up for having one real track with a headbanging riff-fest called ‘Pagan Necromancy.’ Deep growls are all you’re going to hear in terms of vocals, but that’s just fine. The deathly growls of an unknown vocalist fit this track so very well, as do some wicked snarls. The pounding but technical drumbeat really gets my blood pumping while some lead guitar work switches things up. Overall, this is a good blend of death metal and black metal, but don’t expect synths and orchestral arrangements. This one is all about the riffs, the beat, and deathly vocals. It’s simple, but it’s damn satisfying, especially during a workout.

Up next is Supremative’s ‘Triumphant Vengeance of the Antic.’ After the well-produced works of Aiμα it took a few listens to give this half of the EP an honest opinion. Once I was in the grimy black metal mode, I found this one to be absolutely brutal and awesome. Capturing the pure essence of an underground black metal album this one has less than perfect sound quality, but that’s alright. Heavy riffs, cymbal-heavy, blasting drums, snarling bass and demonic vocals shine through the haze so very well. This may not be super polished like Dimmu Borgir or any other big label black metal, but this is right here is what black metal fans live for – grimy, heavy as hell, and pure evil.

Finishing off this EP is ‘Omnipresent Morbid Excitement’ by Supremative. This one has a black metal meets sludge metal feel at first with heavy riffs, splashing cymbals and chugging bass dominating for the first minute before the lead guitar dives into a spiral. Following the awkward inclusion of a woman moaning, blast beats quickly take command as vocalist Instigator of the Seven Demons and Inexorable Necromancer, aka Jonathan Reina, charges into the fray with his snarling, guttural vocal style. Like ‘Triumphant Vengeance of the Antic,’ this one is the most polished tune, but it’s brutally heavy and that’s what matters. To make things even better a guitar solo that’s sure to make Kerry King proud breaks things up late in the track giving this mosh-fest a real standout character.

If you’re looking for a black metal EP that’s heavy on the theatrics and easy on the in your face attitude, then this isn’t the record for you. Blood Chalices from the Impure is an unrelenting black metal assault on the senses. It’s wicked heavy and deeply demonic, but if you expect synths, orchestras or clean singing you’re in for a bad time. This is brutal, in your face and unapologetic underground black metal. So if you like heavy, and I mean heavy, metal with a healthy dose of the occult, then you’re going to want to pick this one up come March 31st. Act quick, however, because it’s a limited edition 7” vinyl with only 300 copies available. If you miss out, however, chances are both bands will put the digital version up on their respective websites. 8/10

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