One Master – Live in the Castle of Quiet (C62, NoVisible Scars)

one master live in the castle of quietOne Master is a black metal group – their Discogs lists Ryan Adams, but there must be more in their live line-up – with a couple of releases under their belt. Live in the Castle of Quiet, released on NoVisible Scars as a one-sided C62 with repeating side B, is a live set played for the radio show “My Castle of Quiet,” and as clear from the four tracks offered, the band’s music is anything but silent.

One Master play fairly traditional black metal, and their songs tend to run longer in length. The recording master on Live in the Castle of Quiet is rougher on some parts of these tracks – the vocals are mixed pretty low, the drums muffled, and the tape itself mastered low – but overall the meat of what One Master does is apparent.

“The Destroyer (Parts I and II)” is the first track, and out of the gate it’s a plodding depressive track with howled vocals and a heavy reliance on guitar riffs. But One Master aren’t afraid to speed things up, either, and the track’s final moments double the pace. As does “A Cursed and Dismal Mind” – an unreleased song with the new lineup – with its blast beats and arpeggios after an initial attack of dueling guitar, before it follows up with a devastating breakdown of its rhythm.

“Intolerance” is a track off of One Master’s split with Glass Coffin, and it blasts away with quick guitar sweeps and a pounding drum line; of course, it’s also a bit shorter than the rest because of its blistering pace. Another new song, “Infernal Silence,” finishes the set with another intense, pounding cut that finds the guitars so fast and unremitting that they tend to actually blend into a difficult sprawling drone until One Master slow things down again. It would seem like that’s a problem with the recording fidelity, except it’s strangely enjoyable to have this wave of noise envelope the listener.

Live in the Castle of Quiet is a frenetic release from One Master, and they deliver some heavy, bleak black metal, even in a live setting. This release is rough around the edges, as most underground black metal tapes are; that means it will definitely interest those cobwebbed, shrouded BM lovers.

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