Many will be aware of the German Black Metal band Dies Ater, who were around between 1994 and 2014, releasing five albums and numerous singles during that period. The drummer throughout was Impurus (Eugen Herbst), who since then has been involved with Albez Duz. What most people will not be aware of is that Eugen had a project prior to Dies Ater, Cromlech, who got close to recording a demo but never did. All these years later, Eugen decided it would be good idea to revisit the old material, write some new, and then record everything himself. The result is six tracks (38 minutes) written in 1994 & 2021/22 and recorded/mixed in 2021 – 2022 and mastered by Andy Classen (Holy Moses).

Until I read the press release, which I always get to after I have been listening to the music, I had no idea that this was a solo project, and certainly not from someone whose main instrument is the drums. This contains plenty of atmosphere and is packed full of the rapidly picked guitars we expect from the genre, and while the drums are probably slightly higher in the mix than some, they feel absolutely right for the rest of the music which is cold, dynamic, powering and on point. The vocals are slightly more intelligible than many, and one certainly gets the impression this is coming to us from the early days of Darkthrone and others, but with a far more professional recording and production than those efforts from long ago. This is not a hard album to enjoy from the off, with plenty of contrast so the dark stays dark and the light not so much. The dynamics are just right, and the overall result is a solid black metal album with a great deal going for it, and it will be interesting to see what happens with this, as I would certainly be interested in hearing more.

Rating: 7/10