Album Review: Hvile I Kaos/Emerson Sinclair – Never Without The Pentagram (Metal Assault Records)

Los Angeles based group Hvile I Kaos, longtime purveyors of what they call “Black Ritual Chamber Musick”, essentially cello-based black metal, has joined forces with fellow LA based musician performing under the moniker Emerson Sinclair, self-described as “Regressive Rock”, combining elements of extreme metal, rock and electronic music.

The two have collaborated on a split album, Never Without the Pentagram, featuring two Hvile I Kaos tracks to open and close the album, with five Emerson Sinclair tracks embedded within.

Metal Assault Records will release Never Without the Pentagram on July 10 2020, on CD (limited to 100 copies only).

Kakophonix of Hvile I Kaos has this to say about the split album:

Hvile I Kaos and Emerson Sinclair have been affiliated since I began the project in 2011, when we were both music composition students at Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory in Ohio. In that time, we’ve both developed our own respective forms of Left-Hand Path Theistic Devotion that we express through our musickal workings. As such, a joint ritual ceremony in recorded form eventually seemed both prudent and natural.

Emerson Sinclair says about the project:

In 2018 my longtime friend and collaborator, Kakophonix, approached me to do a split with his pieces “Rise, Engulf, Envenom”, and “Cleanse, Dispel, Disperse”, which form the opening and closing of a magickal invocation. I knew right away it would only appropriate for me to write the part where the god speaks, and that god should be Set. Little did I know, receiving the word of a god was going to be the easy part. Writing this music expanded my limitations, not only magickally, but musically and personally, and for that I am grateful to both Kakophonix and Set.

There’s a haunting beauty to Rise, Engulf, Envenom that grows and grows. Building on an other-worldly and ancient theme that has the threat of ever-increasing danger running through it. However, what really stands out are the phenomenal melodies. Tear-jerking moments that takes this opener and first offering from Hvile I Kaos from class into gob-smacking brilliance.

The bar has been set and it’s up to Emerson Sinclair to reach it with 5 efforts. Beginning with sharp and emotive violin before leading into the dark and eerie choir-like vocals of Graphite. Hold on though as it suddenly takes on a dark, sci-fi tone before reverting back. It is downright weird!

Take our word for it though, it just gets weirder with Mother (what is with the barking dogs?) and Singularity. Although the latter’s jarring computerised noises and melodic vocals are way more enjoyable. Then it ends with a short slice of violin.

Which leads nicely into the second Hvile I Kaos track; Cleanse, Dispel, Disperse. Another strong effort that drips in melancholy.

Never Without the Pentagram is a tough one. On the one hand, I really like what Hvile I Kaos does here but the Emerson Sinclair side of things is a difficult listen. What can be said, is that overall it is a very unique offering.

Hvile I Kaos/Emerson Sinclair – Never Without The Pentagram Full Track Listing:

1. Hvile I Kaos – Rise, Engulf, Envenom
2. Emerson Sinclair – Intro
3. Emerson Sinclair – Graphite
4. Emerson Sinclair – Mother
5. Emerson Sinclair – Singularity
6. Emerson Sinclair – Closing
7. Hvile I Kaos – Cleanse, Dispel, Disperse




Hvile I Kaos | Emerson Sinclair | Metal Assault Records


  • Carl Fisher

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Hvile I Kaos/Emerson Sinclair - Never Without The Pentagram (Metal Assault Records)
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