Daccar-Tchuv's Cave - Cold Disobedience (Bloody Mountain)

Since its inception in the early 90s, raw black metal (BM) has given corpse-painted tinkerers a low-stakes (and lo-fi) platform to pilot their wobbly prototypes. Artists have stormed medieval throne rooms, cobwebbed the farthest corners of the galaxy, and ingested hearse-loads of psychedelic drugs. They've even re-soldered the subgenre's internal wiring to augment its waspy whir with bleeps and bloops from 8-bit chiptune and vaporwave. Daccar-Tchuv's Cave roll around in this Promethean sandbox on their third album Cold Disobedience, stitching threads from raw BM's experimental history into an eldritch fever dream.

It's worth mentioning that Cold Disobedience is the band's first with Mutant Breakfast favorite Bloody Mountain Records, because the record's main departure from ordinary raw BM is the production quality. The crackling opacity has more to it than your typical tape hiss, as the mix devours light like the algae-slick shallows of a fish pond—or even one of the fecund puddles in Cabinet's dungeons. The murky haze is a smokescreen, a threshold that can be crossed with a halfway decent pair of headphones. In that regard, Cold Disobedience recalls the DIY knob-twiddling that summoned blurry ghosts on Krallice's Demonic Wealth. The periphery scintillates with the energy of a basement séance, crackling with rugged, witchy textures.

The blast beats on the explosive opening track “Thawing the Frozen Clouds of Mag-Gellan” crash and tumble down canyons of spacious reverb, hurtling past tremolo runs that crisscross the expanse like a maze of thorny vines. The track establishes a sense of space, and depth, that allows the band to spread tattered black wings across the rest of the album. “Sins of the Great God-mother” and “Disobedience” venture deeper into the woods, lighting ritual fires and scratching glyphs into warding stones to rouse slumbering pagan gods. The final incantation “Devouring…” is a full unveiling of the band’s power, adding a narcotic, quasi-shoegaze glint to the backwoods BM mysticism. It doesn't flirt with post-black harmony like fellow outdoorsmen Panopticon, Turpitude, or Vanagandr, but there is a pang of  melancholy wracking the coyote-howl vocals, a stylized anguish that feels like a druidic take on depressive BM, or early Xasthur. Cold Disobedience isn't for the uninitiated, but it blends psych-occult sorcery with earthy tribal aggro in a nuanced way that will almost certainly appeal to raw BM diehards, especially those familiar with the subgenre's history of exploration.