Some time ago I was contacted by Pol Guasch of Naakhum to review the split album of two underground black metal bands Veratu and Naakhum.
This split is kind of strangely put together. The songs alternate rather than one band's songs appearing first. Veratu has the odd-numbered tracks and Naakhum has the even-numbered tracks. It is a little disorienting, but I suppose credit for doing things a bit different is due.
Veratu's music is a little bit more forward-leaning, giving off a somewhat industrial vibe to their black metal foundation. There are not a lot of really good industrial black metal bands out there, so hearing a good one is pretty rare. Veratu also incorporates some ambient passages into their music. The band frequently uses sound clips to add to the grim and disturbing atmosphere. The vocals are made up of the fairly typical black metal rasp. Each of Veratu's songs can best be described as unsettling.
Naakhum utilizes a lot of folk and ambient elements in their tracks. The vocal style is more of a sneering groan, similar to some of the works of Finntroll among other bands. Naakhum's music has more of an organic feel than the technological style of Veratu. The band's second track on this split was completely ambient. It was far more soothing than the erratic Veratu. Their third track had some interesting melodies opening up the song. It really did feel like a folk song with an almost Spanish melody to the acoustic guitars.
Picking a favorite out of the two of these bands really depends on what you prefer: harsh and disturbing black metal, or smoother folk-infused black metal. Both bands are impressive. I am curious as to the rest of their discographies.