Well, well, well… what do we have here? Vlad, the guy behind Spell of Dark, has sent me a digital promo of his 2017 EP for a review, and although I haven’t been able to review it at the time I actually wanted (because, as we all know, life happens), I am glad I’ve found the time and listen to it. And it’s probably for the better, as I am definitely in the mood to embrace this kind of stuff.

Well, if you get together an one-man project and black metal, you have a basic picture what to expect. It might not be original, but I don’t necessarily need anything original. Just do, what you like to do and do it right – and you will have a dedicated listener in me. It’s really that simple!

As I don’t follow every one-man black metal project, I can only compare it with Varg Vikernes stuff and although I am a fan of early Burzum stuff (well, up to “Filosofem”), Spell of Dark is – to use some Asian terminology – “same, but different”. Vive le difference!

Vlad Tepesh (Fear of Dark)

“The Breath of Cold Silence” is the first track, which sets the mood of the whole EP. Nice, slow piece (although with some fast drum parts), with whispered and spoken vocals, simple guitar riffing and ambient keyboards. It’s Vlad’s journey beyond the horizons of his native land in winder 2017 (to paraphrase the description of the EP) and if you can imagine the vastness of Russia, you can imagine the atmosphere. Yes, in the closing part I hear “Dunkelheit” a little bit (I love that track) and also nod to Bathory’s “Twilight of the Gods” (and I worship that album!) so it’s no surprise I like this stuff. It’s 8 minutes fly like crazy and I do like it enough to play it again.

The second track bears the name of “Frozen Lands and Horizons” and it sums up winter Russian countryside like nothing else. Musically we’re still in the hypnotic ambient black metal with nice encompassing melodies and whispered vocals. You can’t dislike that stuff. Yes, it might get little monotonous after a while, but I guess that’s the whole point here. You wouldn’t get much of a change being lost in snow-covered Russian steppes, so stop whinning!

The last song here, “Light of Winter”, present a fitting end to this fairly long EP, and “same, but different” applies also here. Yes, it’s the same stuff, musically, but who cares? It flows nicely, and I like the dreamy atmosphere it evokes. It’s almost not even black metal now, what about melodic doom? Yeah, talk about diversity!

All in all, summed up – if you like melodic, ambient black metal, go get it. If that’s not your cup of tea, get it anyway, you might find you like it! Worth giving it a shot, if you ask me. In the meantime, I am gonna check the rest of Spell of Dark’s discography, u join me or what?