Review: “Nomen Omen” EP by Ancestral Kvltv

Born in 2013 in Palermo, Sicily Ancestral Kvltv, started as a solo project from Valgoroth, know for his work in Mystica Nox, Beasts of Torah, and formerly NightFrost. He recorded a self titled demo at Eternal Tombs Studios, released by Depressive Illusions Records which was limited to just 50 handnumbered copies. Seven years on, February 2020, saw a deal inked with Niflhel Records, for “Nomen Omen“, a new EP which follows the tales of Raniero Alliata, an intellectual, theosophist and entomologist from Palermo who lived in the late 19th century. He was known as “black magician prince” for his interest in occultism, theosophy, spiritualism and paranormal phenomena. A concept release about a fascinating character in order to keep alive his memory, even if he’s not well known in literature, he represents one of the last Gattopardi. On this EP, V.G. plays guitars, bass and handles vocals who is joined by Frozen who handles drums, recording and mixing at Frozen Studio, Franco Fonte.

If you haven’t already guessed from the cover art, this Italian Black Metal release from Ancestral Kvltv is as ferocious as it is classical. From the start of “The Scroll Of The Truth“, Valgoroth’s caustic vocals and classic Black Metal guitar tone are influenced by his peers with dark atmospheric, shrouded in mystery. The frenetic energy and might not be the sneering seething of Snorlax but it certainly has its abrasive qualities. Rooted in the 90’s era of Black Metal sounds, the guitar work is based around tremolo picking. “Hyperborea” has Zigla as a guest second guitarist adding in riffs which have a raw occult feel with chord progressions that you’ll be familiar with while also featuring the first blast beats of the record. The quality of the recording is as you might expect, a cave or dungeon creation but very well created with everything sounding very clean in the mix. The drums are a little bit muddy but for this type of album, they’re perfect. “The Birth Of Earth-Born” has guest vocals from Eanna who adds a spoken word to contrast the screeching of Valgoroth while slowing things down for heavier bass inspired passages. The songs have the texture of a old leather bound book containing the kind of dark tales that you tell around a campfire in the dead of the night.

After that slower finish “Munera Manibus” (or “With Gifts“) gets off to a furious start with Valgoroth unleashing a bloodcurdling scream and Frozen some killer blast beats as the tale of sheer terror unfolds. A good mix of tempo shifts as throughout keeps things interesting. “The Temple Of My Mind” has some off kilter passages with odd time signatures in the turn around while the rasping snarled vocal make way for the best drum performance of the EP. “Into The Woods Without End” has Norwegian roots in the cold North and has a second guitar layer with some bright lead riffs at breakneck headbangable pace. It’s relentless savagery is a joy and when the blast beat passages of seamless burst patterns come into play, one thing is clear. Ancestral Kvltv have saved the best until last [7.5/10]

Track listing

  1. The Scroll Of The Truth
  2. Hyperborea (ft. Zigla)
  3. The Birth Of Earth-Born (ft. Eanna)
  4. Munera Manibus
  5. The Temple Of My Mind
  6. Into The Woods Without End

Nomen Omen” EP by Ancestral Kvltv is out now and available via bandcamp.

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