Split Review: Mountain Hermit / Silenced Minstrel - Dark Musings of the Ages (2021)

Picture Credit: Mountain Hermit / Silenced Minstrel

Mountain Hermit / Silenced Minstrel - Dark Musings of the Ages
Release Date: January 22, 2021
Label: Satanica Productions
Format: CD / Cassette (tba) / Digital
Length: 35:41

Before we start, I think I have to add a little warning up front. This split release is not for the faint-hearted. On three tracks each Mountain Hermit from Rome and Silenced Minstrel provide their audience with musicked claustrophobia and pitch-black horror. The split will be available on stream and as a CD published via Satanica Prodductions. The artists are also planning to have it released on tape later this year. Are you ready for this? Well, here we go!

A-Side: Mountain Hermit

Length: 21:17
Genre: Black Metal / Horror Doom
Origin: Rome, Italy

Ali Owl and Papa Hermit are Mountain Hermit. The duo opens the split with a spooky organ intro. But don't you worry, this is not going to be a Dani Filth-like sound. Instead, Mountain Hermit present a sound that slowly rises up from the crypt. Down-tempo Black Metal meets Horror Doom. The rough sound and the spooky atmosphere remind of First-Wave Black Metal and artists like early Bathory or Euronymus-era Mayhem.

The halting tempo of the first two songs is decorated with beautiful dissonances and crude growls and screams. The atmosphere on Mountain Hermit's songs reminds of Hieronymous Bosch's paintings or films like the original "Nosferatu". The main features of this down-tempo Black Metal sound are horror, claustrophobia, and hopelessness.

On the second track 'Towers in the Storm', Mountain Hermit hardly implement any drums. The Doom character is thus emphasized even stronger and almost reminds of Drone Doom. But then, at the end of their spooky show, the Roman duo is increasing their tempo. The first part of the split ends with a cover versions of Darkthrone's 'Transilvanyan Hunger'.

B-Side: Silenced Minstrel
Length: 14:24
Genre: Black Metal
Origin: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur's one-person-army Saiful Nizam Shukor claims the remaining three tracks of the release. The Malaysian artists was featured on this site before, when I reviewed his recent album "Volume 5". And actually, for the review I can only quote myself. Reason is, all three tracks on the split's B-side have  also been released on the last longplayer by Silenced Minstrel. Those are 'Dirge of the Eternal Winter', 'Ex Lucis Tenebris' and 'Canto Diablo 3 - Plagued by the Future'. They're all very good, but I actually hoped for songs I haven't heard from Silenced Minstrel before.

Anyways, the B-side is of course great. If you love the unique mix of Bathory-style Black Metal, some Blackened Death Metal and a certain impact by Gothic Metal, you will not regret having this release in your collection.

Summing up, this is a great split which predominantly tells us that the Black Metal underground is vibrant and active. This release features two artists which definitely deserve more attention.

Mountain Hermit Online:

Silenced Minstrel Online:


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