Album Review – Shakma / On Tenebrous Wings (2023)

A force to be reckoned with, this Norwegian Blackened Thrash Metal trio is back with a deadlier sequel to their 2018 debut album, expanding the band’s dark horizons even further.

Formed in 2014 in Haugesund, a municipality on the North Sea in Rogaland county, Norway, and inspired by the occult and 80’s horror B-movies (which makes me wonder if the name of the band comes from the 1990 cult film Shakma), the unstoppable Blackened Thrash Metal horde Shakma continues to haunt our damned souls with their visceral music in their new opus, titled On Tenebrous Wings. Recorded and produced by Tom Poole-Kerr at Green Engine Recording, and displaying an obscure artwork by Solo Macello, On Tenebrous Wings picks up right where their 2018 debut House of Possession left off while sounding darker and more intricate, or a deadlier sequel expanding the band’s dark horizons that proves vocalist and guitarist Marco Runic, bassist Stian Golden and drummer Aleksander Runic are a force to be reckoned with.

Dark and sinister from the very first second, the 80’s horror movie-inspired intro Evocation will embrace you in total darkness before the trio comes hammering our heads with their infernal fusion of Black and Thrash Metal in the title-track On Tenebrous Wings, with Marco extracting pure malignancy from his riffs supported by the bestial drumming by Aleksander, being therefore the perfect way to kick off such incendiary album. Stian then brings the groove to the band’s flammable thrashing sounds in Nocturnal Obsession, also presenting hints of Hardcore to make it an even better option for some circle pit action; whereas Marco continues to bark and gnarl in the name of evil in Cryptic Apparition, a frantic, in-your-face creation by the trio that lives up to the legacy of Scandinavian Blackened Thrash Metal.

The trio shows no signs of slowing down nor any mercy for our souls in Necromancer, another explosive tune played at the speed of light with Aleksander smashing his drums nonstop for our vulgar delectation, followed by Under His Spell, simply demented and breathtaking from the very first second with all three band members being on absolute sync, spearheaded by the stylish and furious riffage by Marco (who also delivers his usual raspy, unfriendly vocal lines). Their second to last breath of sulfur and Thrash Metal, entitled The Howling Beast, will keep the mosh pit moving manically, with Marco and Stian kicking some ass with their respective riffs and bass lines; and as the entire album exhales darkness and hatred, the closing song, titled Ancient Power, would certainly follow that same demonic pattern, bringing to our ears a humongous dosage of the trio’s infernal riffs, hammering bass and incendiary blast beats.

The sulfurous and frantic On Tenebrous Wings is available for a full and detailed listen on YouTube and on Spotify, but of course you can put your damned hands on this precious gem of the underground by purchasing it from the band’s own BandCamp page, from the Duplicate Records’ BandCamp page or webstore as a CD, an LP, a marble LP, a cassette or a blue cassette, or simply click HERE for all things Shakma, and don’t forget to also follow the band on Facebook and on Instagram. If On Tenebrous Wings was a horror movie, it would surely be a deadly, bloodthirsty one, and we all should thank the guys from Shakma for bringing such high level of horror and fury in the form of first-class metal music to our avid ears.

Best moments of the album: On Tenebrous Wings, Cryptic Apparition and Under His Spell.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2023 Duplicate Records

Track listing
1. Evocation 1:00
2. On Tenebrous Wings 4:53
3. Nocturnal Obsession 3:31
4. Cryptic Apparition 6:01
5. Necromancer 3:11
6. Under His Spell 4:58
7. The Howling Beast 4:07
8. Ancient Power 4:57

Band members
Marco Runic – vocals, guitars
Stian Golden – bass
Aleksander Runic – drums


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