Cloven Hooves At The Holocaust Dawn

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“Picture of Kerasphorus – Cloven Hooves at the Holocaust Dawn

‘Cloven Hooves at the Holocaust Dawn’ is the lone release of the all too short-lived Kerasphorus, brainchild of one of extreme metal’s greatest voices, Pete Helmkamp. Building on the spirited extreme metal hybrid of Order From Chaos, the blasphemous fury of Angelcorpse and the opinion polarizing war cannon of Revenge, this work with Kerasphorus is, as he himself states, among the best he’s ever done.

This release fuses the philosophical underpinnings of Order From Chaos and the musical ferocity of Angelcorpse into an organic black death machine utilised as a mind-body melding medium for its creator’s ideals. The lyrical depth present on these four tracks is reminiscent of Conqueror of Fear from ‘An Ending in Fire’ with added occult symbolism to convey the necessity of creating an intelligent society beginning with the sentencing and dissolution of the old. With the hammering arsenal of James Read on hand, comparisons with Revenge can’t be too far away either and B. Wolanuik turns in an exemplary performance in string dissonance and discordance. Of course, Helmkamp provides bass drive to the thick sound of this EP and his voice is glorious in its shrieking, hateful spirit from start to finish.

The Abyssal Sanhedrin begins with a slow, marching guitar intro that morphs into all-out blast before leading to a transcendent unity of the various instrumental voices a little over two minutes in. This song and the last track on the EP exhibit a good deal of variety while Aosoth Paradigm and Disturb the Furthest Stars are closer to blast-fests with short, well-placed segments of change in the pattern. The music on Cloven Hooves… and its execution create an overwhelming mood of teetering on the brink of destruction with the possibility of a higher rebirth hinted at, if the battle be won. Swarm Intelligentsia provides an incredible conclusion, shifting tempi to arrive at a military march over which Helmkamp howls repeated reminder of observation, judgement and warning: The Flesh is Weak.

One cannot ask for more from an EP. Kerasphorus’ ‘Cloven Hooves at the Holocaust Dawn’ is one of the finer releases in this format, allowing nary a moment to breathe and successfully encapsulating a band’s style and philosophy in a short period of time.”