At Dusk/Idolater

Listen, I get sent a lot of things in the mail from bands, labels and PR companies; stickers, CDs, shirts, candy and all that, but the main man behind Santa Cruz’s one man black metal act At Dusk, Korihor, has done a first. The cover art of his split CD-R with fellow Santa Cruz act Idolater was imbued with his own blood (and he included some incense sticks) just as were the 49 other copies of the CD. And while the hand written note, addressed to me was flattering, the blood had me a bit concerned.

Luckily Korihor and his project At Dusk are a little more than sanguine bribes and gimmicks, as his take on spooky, depressive ambient black metal is adequately written and performed comparing favorably to the obvious fellow Californian peers Wrest (Leviathan) and Malefic (Xasthur) and of course Burzum. Though, not quite as brilliant not prolific as either just yet.

At Dusk‘s six songs are brittle, distant, haunting and hazy and come with an expectedly bad, lo-fi production, but it all comes together into a surprisingly effective little affair. Korihor whispers, rasps, moans and wails with disturbed aplomb while the music is a mix of rangy mid-paced blackened doom and drugged out, middle of the woods paranoia. Yet, it all has a sense of melancholic woe that glistens with a tangible sense of actual despondency. I get the impression Korihor is a truly unhappy and unstable person. With titles like “Colder Than the Merciless Snow”, “End of Being”, and “Forsaken, Betrayed” cementing my suspicions, the music carries a certain emotional weight, despite the production issues, that make you take note. Especially the standout, “My Flesh, A Pittance”, which delivers a still morose but surprisingly well crafted melodic and more fierce black take on self-loathing.

Much like his peers, At Dusk is certainly a niche sound for anguished black metal purists, but promising stuff for a completely DIY one man affair (Fear of Eternity and Striborg please take note). Let’s just hope Korihor is around long enough to continue the promise of this debut!

Also a one man project, Idolater, already has a album called Black Sexual Blasphemy under his belt (mask?) and two of those tracks (“Lex Et Luxuria” and “The Passion In My Heart”) are available on the tail end of this release ― making the whole affair feel a bit more like a tacked on teaser than a real split.

Idolater’s sound is a more traditional atonal, feral form of black metal full of shrill, tremolo picked riffs and stern marches. It’s evil, raw and grim, but the programmed drums stand out a bit too much and the overall song writing is especially gripping, though full of Christ (and marriage?) hating conviction. That being said I’ve heard way worse, label released one man black metal projects and Idolater seems to fully embrace the evil purity of the genre’s original tenets.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
December 16th, 2010


  1. Commented by: stiffy

    LOL! That reminds me of The Simpsons episode where Sideshow Bob was writing letters from prison in his own blood.

  2. Commented by: gordeth

    It’s Idolater, not Idolator.

  3. Commented by: shaden

    i have a couple tapes whose inlays are smeared with blood of somekind they reek.quite unholy.
    other items with blood on them include an incantation cd and a hypothermia tshirt.good times.

  4. Commented by: grist

    lolz at a guy from Santa Cruz titling a song “Colder than the Merciless Snow.”

  5. Commented by: Desperado

    Ha he was probably sulking and occassionally brooding under the boardwalk in all black and leather during the middle of summer. I can picture him sitting in the sand in leather shorts and facepaint brainstorming and writing lyrics as the sun causes the make-up to smear and run.

    Not that I shun the guy or hate his music mind you, just not impressed by the whole blood thing. For moi its the music first and always foremost, I normally couldn’t give a rats ass about an image, within reason.

  6. Commented by: Shane

    I agree Desperado, and to me more metal bands need to understand this. All the face paint, and weird show rituals make 90% of these bands look cheesy. Just freaking play the music.

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