Kshatriya – Vsque ad Sidera Vsque ad Inferos (2016)

An album judged some of The Best Underground Metal of 2016 but hitherto had yet to receive a dedicated review.

Kshatriya‘s Vsque ad Sidera Vsque ad Inferos is a black metal album celebrating the prehistoric conquest of everything from Ireland to India by pastoral Proto-Indo-European peoples from their urheimat located in the northern reaches of the Pontic-Caspian steppe in what is now Russia and Ukraine. The Indo-Europeans were a martial race among the first peoples to domesticate horses, worshiped the sky father Dyeus Pater, and spoke antecessor of most European languages.

Vsque ad Sidera Vsque ad Inferos immediately set a bellicose atmosphere with a martial tribal war drum intro marching Kshatriya off to war. Punkish feedback and an excellent, d-beating almost RAC, rhythm section allow for the riffs to ebb and flow belligerently. Spoken word outros relate the history of the Indo-Europeans and how the Mycenaean invaded the Greek peninsula from the North, assimilating or exterminating those native peoples unfortunate enough to be in their path.

Kshatriya riff very similarly to Ildjarn by contrasting two alternating riffs together but instead of using melody merely for ambiance, Hellenic melodic fills are structured to variate and flow into new territory like a war band assarting a village in preparation for primitive slash and burn agriculture upon the ruins of a barbarian civilization they care naught for. Bridges build tension alleviated by striding forward into a new riff set before a cyclical return to the original set culminating with climactic variations as if searching and destroying to mop up the remnants of resistance present in previously cleared territory.

Vsque ad Sidera Vsque ad Inferos‘ only flaw other than the potentially overextended atmospherics may be in just how cyclical the songs are structured. That this flows naturally and even works while being highly enjoyable is a feat of excellent composition. The elaborate intertwining of related riff pairs leaves hope of much greater narrative possibilities and perhap even riff mazes uncommonly seen in black metal from Kshatriya. Hopefully their future material will continue exalting the glory of Europa.

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28 thoughts on “Kshatriya – Vsque ad Sidera Vsque ad Inferos (2016)”

  1. ttt says:

    prrrretttttty prrrretttttty prrrretttttty prrrretttttty good

  2. S.C. says:

    Curious to check this out. Have you heard of Sacrificial Massacre?

    1. No but let’s find out!

      1. S.C. says:

        Did you get a chance? Just curious what you thought. The only reason I thought to mention them is because of their use of tribal rhythms. They’re all about pre-Hispanic Mexican heritage/supremacy (But their from Wisconsin?) bla bla bla… But I found the music to have some characteristics of originality. I have only really heard their demo “Fulfill they cravings of flesh” but found it to be quite engaging.

  3. Necronomeconomist says:

    “a war band assarting a village”

    I don’t know what it is, but it sounds bad-ass and VIRile.

  4. thomasw_ says:

    Italian blackness … does it give up when the harsh musical challenges begin? Let’s find out!

  5. Roger says:

    This is fucking terrible

    1. better dead than funderground says:

      You’re right.

    2. Rainer Weikusat says:

      Would you be willing to explain why you think this is terrible?

      If’ve listened to about half of the album. Obviously, spoken word interludes in Italian come accross as annoyance/ request to piss off to many people who don’t speak or understand Italian. Referring to this is »black metal« seems inappropriate in face of the ‘romanticized ancient history’ topic. Calling this black-metal-styled is probably better. Even this is a bit diffuse: One of the usual qualities of metal is that it brashly/ abbrasively confronts or even rejects the world as seen through the eyes of mainstream society. This here, while harmonically unusual, is more dreamily reflective.

      1. Roger says:

        The main riff is a rip off of Darkthrone’s En Vind Av Sorg from the Panzerfaust album https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvrSnmSDHQY, only more consonant and (therefore for me) dull. Also the song constructed around that main riff sounds more ‘punk’ to me (i.e. random noise for the purpose of jarring contrasts) than En Wind Av Sorg, which is poetic and ambient black metal masterpiece.

        1. Rainer Weikusat says:

          I think the Transilvanian Hunger opening riff is more closely related to it (that was my immediate impression upon listening to this track for the first time a while ago) but the Kshatriya-one isn’t really identical to either of both, they all just use similar (or related) chord changes and similar/ related rhythms. Which would mean that the Italian band is very likely influenced by ‘middle early-Darkthrone’ (they vocals are also pretty similar) but generally more mellow, rather odd chamber music than ‘northern forests in winter’.

  6. Roger says:

    Meet Daniel Maarat, DM.org ‘reviewer’ (read: some basement-dwelling jaded dude who does it cause no one else can be bothered). Along with long walks in the suburban parks (which convince him his in the desolate Norwegian woods with sword in hand instead of iPod) he likes taking take two bands; band A and band B. A and B will be similar in technical ability and artistic vision, but A will be ruled out as ‘generic’ while B will be championed (albeit with faults that would otherwise condemn it to the same fate as band A noted in ‘earnest’ fashion). This will be because B has certain aesthetics, namely orientated towards ‘volkish’ themes, national socialism, Odinism, etc.

    1. Bullshit. Recordings are judged musically first. I don’t really give a shit what bands advocate as long as the themes are metal. Your music failed Roger. Deal with it.

      1. Roger says:

        I’ve been posting opinions about your reviews and approach for a long time, particularly at that point in DM.org’s varied history when you were practically putting up a post a day about your crush Varg Verkines (again, simply because he’s Odinist/autistic; definitely not because he has put out anything of artistic interest since 1995).

        1. You’re a troll with poor taste.

          1. Roger says:

            ouch! Im sorry for bashing your lust for varg. ‍❤️‍‍

            1. Attention Defecate Disorder says:

              I suppose next you’ll tell us you don’t like Lord Wind either.

              1. Roger says:

                You mean Lord Sleep. Come on, mate. If you want electronica there are so many artists that are 100 times better. That is, unless subconsciously you can’t bear to sever links with electronica that is made by Autistic borderline NSBMers.

                1. Roger says:

                  Got confused. I was thinking of the music of Neptune towers, which is dull electronica. Lord Wing are dull ‘folk music’. If you want northern ‘folk music’ go listen to traditional nordic music. It’s much better than Lord Sleep, probably because it has been sculpted by hundreds of years of usage in a process of CULTURAL evolution. It carries the emotions of a people who have lived in the world, as opposed to pissy wankers who escape from the world behind long dead pagan imagery in post-modern style.

                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6BPDmD2px4&index=3&list=PLD0F__fQG1Ne2cUzA_of-HvL0Xq8F5Alc
                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYKSsCgvKk4

                  1. better dead than funderground says:

                    Neptune Towers is cool.

                  2. Robert says:

                    First off, Neptune Towers is not “electronica” as you claim. It’s Ambient music and it’s brilliant. If you don’t like this side project of Fenriz, then no one here will probably take you seriously.

                  3. Attention Defecate Disorder says:

                    Thanks for the links.

                2. Now who’s being autistic?

                  1. Roger says:

                    Autism is as autism does

                    1. #blessed R the Sick says:

                      Roger this is where you should post that autism meter .gif that you always post.

        2. Inactionable Severance Package from the drummer to "Fulgonimy" says:

          “I’ve been posting opinions about your reviews and approach for a long time…”

          And… you’re exhibiting this why?

    2. Varg Overreacts to Big Cat Cock says:

      And towards Oriental sexualism, N.A.M.B.L.A. irrationalisms, notions of escapism, rapey speculations, invective perdition, etc.

  7. david krappenschitz says:

    Sounds a bit like Baptism

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=in7pT80_7Oo

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