Country: Slovakia
Title: Za prahom vzdialených svetov​.​.​.
Label: Hexencave Productions
Year: 2021
Style: Black Metal

Impressive to still see splits released on physical format in this day and age, especially released on both CD and vinyl like this one here, so hopefully Hexencave's courage will be rewarded and they'll at least recoup their serious investment in this Digipak CD and 12"LP. Now getting to what's on it, we have two Slovak Black Metal bands, some of if not THE most important in the country Algor and Aeon Winds, displaying what they are about in 2021. 
I know Algor since their debut album in 2003 and they've changed a lot over time, like the Black Metal scene did in general, but they've remained true to their main belief in this genre, so what they do now is still 100% Black Metal but with more modern, more professional, more polished arrangements and production. Probably this come-back after 8 years of silence will be a serious surprise to their followers. And judging by the first and only original track featured here the band is totally up to date with what currently happens on the scene, their music is spot on spectacular Black Metal: melodic, atmospheric, crisp, complex, multi-faceted, finely balanced and enthusiastic, with the right amount of old-school touch, especially in vocal compartment. The second track featured here is a cover of Nirvana's Something in the Way, probably the first time I see a Nirvana track covered by a Black Metal band, but although the idea sounds fantastic Algor added little to nothing of their own in this cover so I find it quite dull to be honest, not what I would consider an interesting cover so I'll better stick to their own music.
Aeon Winds are probably more known because of their 2019 album Stormveiled out on Avantgarde Music, but they've also been active with smaller labels releasing all sort of EPs, splits and even a live album last year, they seem to like keeping things effervescent and that's perfect for any band. Their music, compared to Algor's is more brutal, rougher, dirtier, maybe even more old-school, reminding me of the (somehow) incipient stages of the Atmospheric Black Metal, how it was used to be presented at the beginning of the '00's. Fast, aggressive, uncompromising Black Metal supported by eerie, ethereal keyboards; actually the second track featured here is completely made on keys. The most impressive for me on their side was the cover of Jean Michel Jarre's Equinox 4 in the band's own manner, so the iconic hit done in Atmospheric Black Metal manner, fantastic!
All in all this is a spectacular split, absolutely well worth your time and money! 
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 9/10   8.5/10