Lycanthropic Burrowing by One MasterRelease date: July 14, 2017
Label: Eternal Death Records
One Master has been kept on track for 15 years by Valder, releasing a nice flow of raw black metal they way we like it. Lycanthropic Burrowing follows the successful Reclusive Blasphemy from 2015, looking to grab the same amount of success and even more.
Offering six songs, the album Lycanthropic Burrowing is a solid slab of physical exercise. One Master knows their stuff and do not disappoint on this record filled with second wave black metal that hits where it hurts most. The main question to delve into though is what sort of offering this is, is it a strong black metal album or a record of visionaries. The band bio states that the band aims to ascend to the elite tier of the USBM scene with this sonic spectacle, standing amongst the likes of Nightbringer and Leviathan. The band might board that train on this record, but is definitely not at the forefront of innovation. But trust me, that is perfectly alright.
De dense, grim sound of One Master definitely comes out very well on this record, which was pretty much forged in the ovens of Dead Air Studios by Wil Killingsworth. That solid sound immediately grabs you from the start of ‘The Claws of Dyonisus’. After a brief intro we immediately fall into the abyss of One master, with a waterfall of guitarworks. It’s like starting at the top of one wild water ride and the sudden immersion you experience when the boat tips down the slide. The sound completely surrounds you in all its fury, which is pretty much the way we continue downwards on ‘Will of the Shadow’. Blistering rhythms, enthralling bass lines and a suggestion of occult black metal with prickling guitar parts here and there.
There’s something very vitalistic to the music of One Master. It’s brimming with energy, with force and strength. The avalanches of sound never cease and sweep you up in them, but always stay very much grounded to the earth. On tracks like ‘The Black Bat’ and ‘Death Resurrection’, you may feel the occult, the mystic vibe in the guitars. The rhythm section always remains close to earth, to the elements and the physical. That lingering hint of the spiritual is blown away by the somatic force and the commanding, almost militant vocals of ‘Valder’. Though it feels like a rapid flow, thanks to the blast beats and driven guitars, the music is sort of mid paced and steady in its flow. Lycanthropic Burrowing is an album you feel in your gut. When the maelstrom quiets a bit on ‘Erosion’ you hear the epic grandeur behind it, and that makes you puff out your chest.
One Master sticks to the narrow notion of black metal, but does that extremely well. They released an album that is catchy, empowering and solid from start to finish. For me the band peaks with ‘Erosion’ and tries to push their luck a bit on the final song, which happens to be the title track with a higher pace and some doomy parts that set the song apart from the further album. If anything it offers a climactic ending to the record and holds promise for something more on future releases. As far as black metal goes, One Master has the potential.