The word obscure is more than applicable for the Swedish band THE BLACK and after so many years of total silence I'm not really sure if somebody still remembers their only album "The Priest Of Satan" released in 1994 via our American 'friends' of Necropolis Records (and / or the involvement of Mr.Dissection Jön Nödtveidt decades ago). So after 15 years the band finally recorded their second full length "Alongside Death" and if you expect drastically changes in any way you are on the wrong track. THE BLACK are still honouring their name by recording a short but still very intense pure Black Metal album right between MAYHEM and some minor THORNS influences. The album is offering the perfect mix between short and ultra aggressive songs like the opener 'On The Descent To Hell' and longer composition with some ambient influences which gives "Alongside Death" the necessary variety to avoid the already heard a thousand times effect. Not sure if the band can still count on their 'cult status' but the album is a solid piece of human hate and disgust with one of the best covers of the last years - so let the ritual begin. www.pulverised.net, www.myspace.com/officialtheblack.