Opener Elven Sword starts with a scream before the guitars pierce flesh like an arrow to the knee. It’s vicious when it wants to be, especially the throat-tearing vocals, but there’s also a bright sense of melody at play. This is expressed chiefly through crystalline guitar lines that spiral out from the dense layers of tremolo picked riffs. Tracks like Labyrinthian and Evenaar are slower and more measured, treading at a more stately pace and trading on atmosphere as much as aggression, while Deathbell Harvest also brings in clean vocals and an ethereal swirl.
Musically Serena isn't reinventing the black metal cartwheel here, but Wretched Abyss is effective, entertaining and just as epic as the concept demands.
For Fans Of: Windir, Enslaved, Myrkur
Wretched Abyss is released on May 28 via Church Road.
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