KRVNA "For Thine Is The Kingdom Of The Flesh" Pro-tape
Perhaps laying in wait, below deck on a cursed coffin ship, a vampyric entity stirred and soon spread its black-leather wings in the autumn of 2021: Krvna's debut demo, appropriately titled Long Forgotten Relic, introduced the Australian black metallers in a most auspicious manner. However, that demo was but a mere two songs, and a few months later did the band's debut album follow. Titled Sempinfernus, Krvna's first full-length unveiled the full fathom of mainman Krvna Vatra's vision. At once authentically classic and unblinkered by the past, Sempinfernus was a sparkling gem of refreshingly old (and refreshingly vast) air, their black metal laced with a mysticism and sumptuousness that could only be likened to purple velvet. Not for nothing was it widely acclaimed. Now, like (cursed) clockwork, Krvna return a full year later with arguably an even greater record: second album For Thine is the Kingdom of the Flesh. Immediately, the aggression is more tangible, more restless, but so is the grandiosity as six equally epic compositions unfold and take flight. Indeed, the sensation of flight is an apt one; racing and roiling with a blastbeaten intensity, there's simultaneously a hovering - if not entirely ethereal - aspect that plays perfect counterpoint to that emphatic violence. Truly, Krvna's attack swarms here, sounds rippling and reverberating across a ruined cathedral, but executed with startling clarity: you'd be hard pressed to find a better-produced authentic black metal record these days. While certainly one can't dress up a turd and call it a gem, Krvna Vatra's superlative songwriting prowess receives the proper sonic presentation, and that synthesis of form and content makes all the difference in rendering For Thine is the Kingdom of the Flesh an engaging and engrossing experience on all levels. That the mainman's lyrical themes delve deeper into philosophical concepts surrounding existential dread, vampirism, immortality, and transubstantiation only give greater weight to making this Krvna's defining statement thus far.