Black metal as a vehicle for negativity and darkness is a well-established trope by now, and for good reason. Whilst the first wave of bands were largely intentionally over-the-top (see: Venom), with the second wave something more violent and serious nestled within the heart of the genre. Since then, the concepts of darkness have become more encompassing, which is where a band like Rend fits in. An anonymous one-person project, Rend’s debut EP Cast Into Their Own Night fuses black metal with hardcore in long-form format. The result is music that carries the soul-searing force more commonly associated with Amenra and their associated acts, with the hypnotising power of atmospheric black metal.

Opener ‘Cast Into Their Own Night’ is the blackened hardcore song you wished every other band was capable of writing. A four-minute whirlwind of physicality, it races by in a blur, its visceral force delivered via tremolo-picked leads, blast beats, and furious riffs. It’s impressive, but where Cast Into Their Own Night comes alive is with the EP’s other song, ‘Once Filled With Bliss and Hope’. This is black metal that is the bastard offspring of hardcore violence and Weakling-style atmospheric introspection – to the extent that said band isn’t mentioned in the promo materials, but bands who have taken influence from them are. Much like Wiegedood or a more intense version of Wolves in the Throne Room, the DNA is there, but it’s been twisted into new forms of negativity. Far removed from cartoon conceptions of Satan, Cast Into Their Own Night is a personal journey, down into the depths of human experience.

Cast Into Their Own Night is out now via Holy Roar Records and can be purchased here.

Words: Stuart Wain

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