It would be all too easy to spend most of this review talking about the very public fall of former Twilight contributor Blake Judd. His arrest, retirement and subsequent admission to rehab have all been pretty major news stories in the world of black metal, which is a shame not only for Blake himself but also for the fact that these events have overshadowed the release of a bands epitaph that has proved to be one of the most interesting albums so far this year.
“III: Beneath Trident’s Tomb” glistens from beginning to end with pungent ichor. It’s a deeply unpleasant listen and all the better for it, from the caustic opening noise of “Lungs” to the closing terror of “Below Lights” Twilight have constructed a gloriously inaccessible album, almost suspiciously so.
Whilst previous album “Monument to Time End” had large gaps of riffing and melody between the experimental ambiance and terror, these breaks are a lot less regular on “III: Beneath Trident’s Tomb”. Though the suffocating horror is enjoyable enough it does feel a little too deliberate and forced, like a band who are very aware that this will be their final album and feel obliged to use every artistic curve ball they had stored up just in case they don’t get the opportunity to in the future.
In many ways for a band with five of the most prolific song writers who are primarily based in the US black metal scene the sound of this album should not be a surprise. All six tracks have a very individual feeling about them making it very difficult to make any broad comparisons, although the grim prevailing terror does frequently bring to mind acts like Gnaw Their Tongues and The Axis of Perdition.
Whilst it will go unnoticed by most or dismissed by others after the first listen, “III: Beneath Trident’s Tomb” is a fitting full stop to mark the end of a career. Uncompromising and proud of it, this is an album that rewards patience and repeated listens from a band quietly and graciously taking their final bow.