While listening to music on YouTube, I will usually check out channels that upload new albums and one album caught my eye on Symphonic Black Metal Promotion’s channel recently. Ukraine’s Her Pale Skin is a unique atmospheric black metal project in the sense the band describes themselves as being “romantic black metal.” The duo (Crying Lorelia and Dying Aldig) have forged something that has a raw, emotional sound to it with the use of acoustic passages, piercing vocals that stand front and center, and just overall and unrelenting drive behind everything that makes this debut full length something truly special.
Not much is known about Her Pale Skin except it is currently a two man project from Ukraine, which I guess adds some mystery but what can be said for certain is this is the first release from the duo. Krov is full of twists and turns, not a single moment is repetitive and boring. For some, the recording quality may not be the best as it does sound like it was most likely a bedroom recording or something of the likes but in all honesty, it adds to the atmosphere of the release and is very reminiscent of raw black metal releases.
Tracks like Болотник (the Swamper) and Повітря зі смаком кохання (The Air Tastes Like Love) stand out most on this debut as they showcase the mix of straight forward black metal ferocity, the beauty behind the emotional melodies and some bit of romanticized piano work. Again, the vocals seem to be the main focus here as there are moments that are not impressive and do not stand out (partially due to the recording quality which really can be heard on the instrumental moments) but when everything comes together, it just works and it works well.
With all of this said, this by far is not top tier atmospheric/melodic black metal but that does not mean this should be passed up. The guitars could be worked on to get some clarity and maybe mixed better, the drums could be brought into the mix a bit more with some variation but the vocals definitely can stay how they are. If you are a fan of Anorexia Nervosa, Mystic Circle, Black Countess or just stories of romanticism and vampirism, then this album is definitely worth a spin. I look forward to the next release from Her Pale Skin.
Overall Score: 7.5/10
Review by Neil Andersen