It’s 1996 Anno Satanas all over again! Buried by time and dust for 23 years, KHAZAD DHUM’s "Blackest" has recently found its way back to this planet’s surface. The Tolkien inspired trio from Germany originally released this indefinable compendium of Zeitgeist Black Metal in a time when the genre’s evil seed was steadily sprouting all around the globe with full force. The band’s most active member, Meister Johann aka Wolfen aka Mark Edward Astorian, mastermind behind related projects TRAUMATIC VOYAGE and ANTIHUMAN, is here responsible for guitar and vocals. It’s quite hard to understand who the actual head of the drum programming department was. Nonetheless, their synthy, Alesis D4 like percussion patches made me think of cult Greek act THOU ART LORD’s "Eosforos" but with a Norse oriented riffing. Forget about other German contemporaries like KATHARSIS or PARAGON BELIAL: KHAZAD DHUM deliver 61.51 minutes of semi-decently recorded, minor key Black Metal with melodic velleities in a framed cloudy sky artwork. There are some good moments here and there, like the horrified screams on ‘Godfucker’ or the robotically frantic drum roll at the beginning of ‘Receive My Hatred’. Everything is enshrouded in that typical, touching naivety displayed by several bands of the same era, and that adds to the "pureness" of this musical operation for sure. "Blackest" might appeal to some SUMMONING fan with archivistic tendencies. Grab your CD at http://khazad-dhum.bandcamp.com or perish in ‘The Lightless Depth Of Khazad Dhum’.