Tvsk – Hymn For The Gloom (a 2021 EP review)

Tvsk is yet another band signed to the prolific and well known Indonesian label, Sadist Records (which we already know from the review of Devoured’s debut album reviewed here)and “Hymn For The Gloom” is the very first official release for this black metal band from Palembang (South Sumatra).

The EP contains 7 tracks, starting with “Requiem Introitus”, which is 2:30 long intro, of unexpected (but for me, very pleasant) ambient vibe, something you can be familiar with from martial ambient artists. Well, I am not the one to shy away from any experimental stuff, so this is OK with me.

The 2nd track is the titular song, “Hymn For The Gloom” and my heart is bouncing with joy! Yes, this is my kind of black metal. More of a black/crust variety, to be more precise, for a moment I am reminded of stuff Destroyer 666 released…this is fantastic stuff, just full of energy, with a perfect blend of relentless speed and excellent riffing/melody. And with the end going back to the moody ambient, this is gonna be interesting!

“The Unholy Soul” starts more in the vein of death metal, but we’re getting back on the black metal track almost immediately. And again, I will repeat myself, but those Indonesian black metallers know very well how to treat melodies and aggressiveness! Suprisingly, this one differs from the previous track considerably, but it’s awesome anyway! The weeping guitars would make George Harrison run fo the money, the melody and riffing make you forget the time and you’ll realize the track is quickly over, even when it’s one of the longer tracks of this EP.

On the other hand, “…Arrived” is the second shortest song, and again, little deviation from previous offerings. Starting as more of a black’n’roll variety, suddenly we’re met with the bass intermezzo and the in medias res drums creating the atmosphere of intensity, dread and unrest. That’s OK, I don’t want to fall asleep and luckily, Tvsk will keep you awake with no problem. Quite a strange track, this one, full of ambience, which runs like a thread through the whole EP.

Did I mention the death metal somewhere in the review? Well, “Prologue of Fallen” start with the effin’ excellent riff right from the Death Metal 101, only to morph into the black metal tune again. I applaud the audacity of the band to endlessly twist and turn the song structure, and again, the melodic side in the songwritting is clearly present and likeable. The song’s ending fades in to the next song…

…which is “Endless Destruction”. That melody! I won’t be hard pressed to say this one is a damn good song, probably the highlight of this EP! Oh, even with my antipathy towards attending gigs, this I would love to see live! The song also contains a passage with sampled voices (probably from the heat of the battle), giving the title (“Endless Destruction”) more definite feeling. What a delight!

But there’s the end … but before that, the last song, and the longest one here – “Bar’s Outroitus of Lacrimosa”. And as the title suggests, it’s an outro, and again the ambient one. Relaxing, calm…as in the ride is over, it’s time to rest. Again, I enjoy atmospheric/ambient/darkwave stuff, so for me it’s a nice finish for a great debut. Although there’s a difference, I am going to play it again! And probably a few times more!

Black metal or blackened crust, for Tvsk the genre label is not important. What is important, though – this is 24:31 of pure pleasure for any metal fan’s ears..



Rudolf Schütz

I am the founder/owner and editor-in-chief of the Rubber Axe webzine, the underground/overground cultural publication, publishing also this website dedicated to all things Indonesian. I'm a happily married guy with 2 kids and a fantastic wife, and I'm a relentless discoverer of all things cultural and culinary. An everlasting dreamer and idealist.

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