BLACK FRIDAY: The PRAVA KOLLEKTIV Takes Listeners Into the Void, the Cosmos, and the Consciousness
The ПРАВА Коллектив—or Prava Kollektiv in English—is a highly enigmatic group of musicians that exist somewhere in the world (I think.) For a number of years now, this mysterious sect has built a roster of elite level black metal projects and released their music through a number of labels. With the help of Fallen Empire Records, Amor Fati Productions, and Underground Soundscapes, the Prava Kollektiv's dark reach extends to many corners of the Earth. At the present moment, there are four bands in the collective. There's Arkhtinn, the longest running band of the four and the origin of the cabal. There is also Voidsphere, Mahr, and Hwwauoch. Recently, three of these projects put out new music, and each effort is brilliant.
Naturally, the projects share some similarities, but they also carry unique tenets. For Arkhtinn, it's a fixation on outer space. Meanwhile, Voidsphere is as the name suggests, a dedication to the void. The newest project, Hwwauoch, focuses on the notion of consciousness. Each of them is diverse enough to stand alone, but it's the common Prava Kollektiv thread that brings such an appeal. Follow the collective on Facebook. Read a brief synopsis of each album and stream them below. Physical copies of all the releases are through Amor Fati. Snag a digital copy through Fallen Empire.
Arkhtinn – 最初の災害
After many years and many demos, Arkhtinn finally delivers their much anticipated full-length album. 最初の災害 sees another extravagant display of ambient and cosmic black metal. Two tracks, both over 20 minutes long, pull the listener into their vortex. There is a synth line that runs seemingly straight through the heart of the first arrangement, "一番". It, along with the blistering tremolo picking sends Arkhtinn racing into the cosmos. Overall, the music is simply entrancing. Black metal's recent transfixion on outer space has seen a lot of bands arise and attempt to capitalize on the vast emptiness; Arkhtinn has one of the firmest grasps on the limitless vacuum. Their ability to showcase the infinite terror of space is almost unparalleled.
Stream 最初の災害 now. It's the equivalent of taking your helmet off during a spacewalk.
Voidsphere – To Await | To Expect
The quote surrounding the new Voidsphere release is quite succinct. "Voidsphere is worship of the void. It is that, and only that. Voidsphere Pràva." The new record, To Await | To Expect is dizzying and—compared to Arkhtinn's almost crystalline compositions—murky. It's sort of how I picture the void, to be honest. There are portions of the album that teeter into the black/death realm that some of the Icelandic or French metal bands delve into. Yet, it still carries some ambient sections to offset how suffocating Voidsphere's approach is. They walk a fine line, but like anything else they've released, it's done with a haunting bravado and total acceptance of the void.
Stream To Await | To Expect now and gaze into the void.
Hwwauoch – Hwwauoch
This third release is a bit of an outlier compared to the other two. Instead of two long-form tracks, this self-titled debut runs five songs all under ten minutes—which may be for the best. The dissonant and convoluted arrangements on this debut are some of the strongest output from the Prava Kollektiv, but they are overwhelming as can be. Distortion drenches subtle melodies in a dichotomous pairing of oppressive atmosphere and metallic groove. The howling vocals are far more primal than that of Arkhtinn or Voidsphere. The early signs of this record point towards Hwwauoch being a much more untamed or raw side of the cabal.
Stream Hwwauoch now and get lost in consciousness.