Danish Progressive Black Metal quintet ‘(0)’ are quite literally an enigma. A well-kept Danish underground secret, known only by their initials and with no other information available.

Words: Jools Green

But what I can say is this debut offering ‘SkamHan’, which translates to something roughly along the lines of ‘Shame on Him’, is that it is a very powerful and engaging listen.

‘SkamHan’ is seven tracks spanning a haunting forty-six minutes, steeped in a dark melancholic atmosphere that blends Black and Post Metal with Sludge and Drone elements with a Progressive leaning. The result is an easy and cathartically reflective listen.

Album cover for SkamHan by (O)

Both the musicianship and composition across the album is excellent and (FJ) delivers an extensive vocal range, together making it a well varied listen – from the melodic yet brutal superb opener ‘Tyndere end Hud’, all the way to the closing instrumental of epic proportions, the trance like ‘Alle Renses’ which almost hits the ten minute mark.

I have a few favourite tracks which really had an impact on me. The previously mentioned ‘Tyndere end Hud’ is a dark brooding and brutal track with a melancholic and hypnotic edge, enhanced by superb haunting melodic bursts. ‘Skarntyder’, where a rousing drum opener leads into a dark complex progressive sound completed with a superb vocal delivery of extended roars and low end harsh. It is a track which ebbs and flows with an organic fluidity and the title track. Also ‘SkamHan’, with its bleak searing and oppressive opening, developing into a powerfully reflective piece.

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The remaining tracks are all hugely listenable.

From the more reflective and melancholic ‘Sjælstjæler’, through ‘Rød Glorie’ (also reflective with intense bursts and a superbly protracted growling vocal delivery), to ‘Sortfugl’, with its beautiful guitar led opener developing into a well phrased, often intense and dark track with a sludgy and reflective leaning.

‘SkamHan’ is available from Napalm Records from 24 April.

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