Eater of the black metal...
Genre: black metal
Let me start out with a warning: if you like bright, uplifting and easy-listening music, then - for the love of God - stay a way from this release. However, if you like challenging, intense, dark and unpleasant music, then - for the love of Satan - check out Nightbringer's "Hierophany of the Open Grave".
Nightbringer draw both on raw black metal and more avant-garde style of black metal in the sense that they do make use of the trademark black metal tremolo riffage and blastbeats, but that is only one ingredient of the Nightbringer sound. Quite often, they make use of overlaid guitars such that while one plays a primitive tremolo riff, the other might play droning notes or a strangely melodic figure or something like that. In addition, the band draws on the heavy drum beats of doom metal, and often you will find doom-ladden drums combined with tremolo picking - actually, compared to a lot of other black metal, this release is quite heavy in terms of rhythm tempo.
All of these contrasts obviously generate intensity in the music, and Nighbringer's use of dissonant chords and growled vocals add to the intensity of the music. So, yes, this certainly is challenging and interesting black metal. The individual compositions are also quite varied and dynamic because of the moving back and forth between fast and slow tempos.
Despite this, my overall experience of the album is that it can become a bit monotonous, but in a black metal context, monotony can be a positive thing, and something which many black metal artists strive for; so in that perspective - mission accomplished.
If you are looking for an intense and challenging musical experience of contrasts and darkness, then you should check out this release.