It was but the beginning of 2016 when German black/death alchemists KHTHONIIK CERVIIKS released their critically acclaimed debut album, SeroLogiikal Scars (Vertex of Dementiia), on vinyl through IRON BONEHEAD. The years since that literally scarring display of blown-mind metal mastery may seem quiet, but the band in fact released an equally challenging split LP with comrades Howls of Ebb during the summer of 2017, also through IRON BONEHEAD, whetting appetites for their grandest strike yet…
At last, it has arrived, once again with a tongue-twisting title that’s as treacherous(ly adventurous) as its contents: Æequiizoiikum. Here, KHTHONIIK CERVIIKS explore a wealth of contrasts, of extremes usually unattainable with metal this crushing and caustic. Swarming yet spacious, angular yet oddly anthemic, melodic yet miasmically so, direct yet detouring, alien and futuristic yet in a manner most rusted and rustic: Æequiizoiikum is the sound of KC at their impossible peak. All the elements from previous recordings – including their now-classic Heptaedrone demo, released in 2013 by IRON BONEHEAD and thereby starting the onslaught of oddness – are accounted for here, but taken in a more stately and daresay “mature” direction. The startling poise is more pronounced, the songs dig their hooks deeper, the “metal” in their black/death METAL simultaneously emphasized and abstracted, the gnarliness more graceful, the confidence simply off the charts here…truly, no one sounds like KHTHONIIK CERVIIKS, now more than ever.
Iron Bonehad (GERMANY), 2020.