Recent review i did of this split by request. All bands and music are Christian based.

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When it comes to Christianity and rock/metal there has always kind of been this hesitance to accept it as part of the genre despite having a long history involved with it. Growing up and coming from a Christian family I have found myself at odds with religion in general but always open to the unknown. The same approach is applied when I listen to rock and metal bands and have since I was a teen. So much so that my first actual concert I attended was Stryper with Loudness and TNT at Red Rocks in 1987.

While it was hard for me to digest the straight forward approach lyrically by Stryper I was truly mesmerized by how incredibly talented the band was from the soaring vocals of Michael Sweet to the screeching riffs from Oz Fox. I found through them that despite ideology or lyrical content that when it came to these ears it was the music that was important aspect to me and not always the lyrical message. I mean, lets be honest as a death metal fan you wont find me chain sawing women’s limbs off just because they are being belted out lyrically by some random death metal singer.

So on some level you have to approach a band or artists lyrics or ideology with a grain of salt and caution no matter the content. In some cases Christian bands have been able to write lyrics that are not so straight forward and can be interpreted differently depending on the listener which in my mind is a better approach but not necessary for enjoyment. Never the less, like any other rock and metal band Christian bands sing about what matters to them and obviously faith plays a huge part in that and that should be respected regardless. Ive encountered and enjoyed many Christian bands over the years from Stryper and Petra to Demon Hunter and P.O.D. to even heavier bands like Mortification.

And thus it brings us to this split consisting of Symphony of Heaven, Bismoth, and Timoratus. Three bands who between the three of them have a nucleus of four individuals who are the creators and designers of said projects. All three bands have a blended mixture between black metal and blackened death metal.

Lets begin with Bismoth a one man black metal project from South Africa featuring Jethro. The song “Anguish and Agape” has a beautifully woven and hypnotic intro before careening into an array of fierce riffing and harsh vocal work. The song has some really beautiful interludes and mesmerizes the listener and while the lyrics have a sense of hope they are filled with a sense of somberness and despair. I was particularly taken with this passage “My cry, my plea, My dying breath, take me, Alone and forgotten,The mistake begotten. The second track “In Christ Together” is a bit more straight forward in approach musically but a nice bookend to the two tracks presented.

Symphony of Heaven is up next and out of the three bands I am more familiar with the work from the brain child of Pathos. The 2017 release “The Season of Death” is an incredible record and still gets a regular spin on my ipod. So its no shock to me to find the same strong musicianship with the opener “For Glory” as he balances out the melodic black sound with some death elements. Vocally Pathos absolutely crushes it bellowing out “Exiled in an ocean prison, Drowned in a watery grave, In this destruction lies our glory, The end of our flesh” with guitar shredding fury.

The follow up “Death to Denomination” has a wonderful string of layered riffing backed by massive blast beat drumming. Of the two songs this is probably my favorite and wets my appetite to hear more. Logan’s ability to pay attention to detail of his musical arrangements is top notch bar none.

Finally we arrive with the band Timoratus, a duo from Kentucky in the form of Dave and Courtney Napier. Looking at a photo of them you would hardly expect to see them creating the brutality that awaits you from the opener “Brothers, You Are Not Alone”. Heavy, dark, and massive in sound Timoratus engulfs you with suffocating black/death metal with some extremely wonderful acoustic interludes which arrive around the 2:00 minute mark. While the music is more in the blackened death metal vein the production and presentation has that very raw black metal vibe which gives it character.

While I am not overly familiar with this project upon research it seems the duo like using concept ideas within their lyrical presentation although I do not know if that was used on this split. But here is some of what they bring lyrically to the table in this track “Built for so much more than just the one we see inside, Collecting the workmanship of the true One outside, Inspecting our brothers who have so little to hide, Connected by the crimson Blood of the Holy God, Can you see the greatness, Can you feel it’s pulse “

“The Root of Unity “ continues with some solid arrangements and originality within the work. While both songs run fluently together neither sound the same in arrangements which is a pleasant surprise. Dave and Courtney are able to incorporate different elements within both songs giving them their own identity. The keyboard work is absolutely flawless and perfectly fits with the clean vocal arrangement. I don’t think I heard the 2018 release so I am going to have to go and check that out pronto.

While I think Jethro and his project Bismoth can probably use a little growing in terms of sound I don’t want to jump the gun on him as I never heard Psalmic Peace and perhaps that has something different to offer in his arsenal. But even with that the collection of music from these bands is a very solid effort with a lot of great music. The collaboration is done really well here and for those who can think outside the box when it comes to Christian metal you will leave the record very pleased. I do want to throw a shout out to the bands involved for allowing me to review this split as it was a joy to listen to and review.

You will also be able to hear these selected tracks on Metal Tavern Radio every week for the next couple of months on Sunday starting at 6pm Est.