Created in 2020 in South Africa by Caleb Bingham (bass/drums/vocals, Athanasia, Grave Plague, ex-Zonaria, ex-Five Finger Death Punch) and Heino Brand (guitar/orchestrations/vocals), the duo released their first EP in 2021, followed by several singles before announcing Those Born Of Fire & Shadow, their debut album, for 2023.
The Unmaking – Pride Of The Golden King, immediately reveals epic martial sounds that equally borrow from Melodic and Symphonic Death Metal. Orchestrations make the heavy riffs majestic, letting vocals integrate the rhythm, leading us to The Dark Tree, a more aggressive composition developing a striking contrast between its different parts. The heady melodies give way to Thangorodrim – Into The Depths Of Angband, a short warlike interlude that opens the doors to Beneath The Axe Of Gothmog in the company of Tuomas Saukkonen (Wolfheart, Before the Dawn, Dawn of Solace…) and Risto Ruuth (Eternal Tears of Sorrow), strengthening the ranks of the coalition in this grandiose, unifying battle. The band gives us another moment of respite with the bleak From Beyond The Void, which sets the scene for Lair Of The Gloomweaver, a heavy oppressive track which exploits the darkest roots to weave a coherent link between the universes the band draws inspiration from, before inviting Jarmo Kylmänen (Eternal Tears of Sorrow, The Nidra) and Jori Haukio (Mors Principium Est) to meet The Lord Of Werewolves and his Power Metal influences on choruses. Guitars also take part in the battle, reinforcing the motivating sounds, then The Plains Of Dagorlad lets us slowly advance to Dead Marsh Revenants and its impressive raw riffs, contrasted by expressive orchestrations accompanying every rhythm change. The album closes with The Unmaking – Nimloth’s End, which builds on a catchy, heady basis of instrumental parts before welcoming the occasional vocals, but also this surprising break before resuming the march to icy winds.
Inspired by fantastic stories, Brundarkh develops a highly rhythmic epic sound to let the members express themselves. Although rather short, Those Born Of Fire & Shadow remains a fascinating, fast-paced album which easily finds its place in the scene.