If Gloam's previous LP, 2015's Hex of Nine Heads, suggested the path they might tread, this tantalizing EP confirms it, acting as a waypoint towards ever more dismal horizons. As they did on Hex, Gloam display a mastery of the black metal style here, and even with its tragically brief runtime, Death Is the Beginning finds a way to emote vivid scenes of sinister drama.
Tragedy pervades the opener, "Anguish," which festers into a more ravenous breed of evil in "...Of a Carrion Kind." The title track, "Death is the Beginning," is an agonized crawl through mists of eerie strings that plummets swiftly into the black heart of a Cascadian storm.
Indeed, Gloam know how to lay down an engrossing sonic experience, which sadly only highlights the one major downside to Death Is the Beginning: its tragic brevity. This EP passes by much too quickly, leaving you starved and wanting more — though it might be that that was exactly Gloam's intent. Hopefully, this is only the beginning of what we can expect from the band in the near future. (Blood Music)