Monday, January 21, 2019 12:49

Posts Tagged ‘Norma Evangelium Diaboli’

FUNERAL MIST – HEKATOMB LP (Norma Evangelium Diaboli)

Friday, July 13th, 2018

Funeral Mist - HekatombAnd so it came to pass that completely out of the blue Funeral Mist’s third full-length, ‘Hekatomb’, was upon us, a foul curse upon our wretched, meaningless existences.

It’s been an unbelievable nine years since Arioch conjured the frankly magnificent ‘Maranatha’ and – due to his Marduk duties – I was resigned to the distinct possibility that Funeral Mist was dead in the water.

Thankfully, this is not the case and ‘Hekatomb’ is as solid a Black Metal album as you could wish to hear. From the lyrics to the trademark stunning vocals through to the musicianship, production and presentation, everything about this record, which is a slight departure from previous FM releases sound-wise (catchier) but still packed with venom and aggression, is nigh on perfect.

Another masterpiece from a true Black Metal great.

Evilometer: 666/666

ALTAR OF PERVERSION – INTRA NAOS 3LP (The Ajna Offensive / Norma Evangelium Diaboli)

Sunday, May 27th, 2018

Altar Of Perversion - Intra NaosThe average running time of the six tracks on Altar Of Perversion’s second full-length – and first in 17 years – is a whopping 19 minutes. At approximately 114 minutes long, ‘Intra Naos’ is Black Metal’s equivalent of the Grand National – mid-to-fast-paced and grueling, not for the meek.

Essentially three albums in one, it’s a demanding but immersive and deeply rewarding affair – the kind of treat that seems to be unique to this dark corner of the underground. Due to its length and my sadly limited spare time (get the cellos out), I’m finding it really difficult to unlock an opportunity to listen to this in one sitting or to garner sufficient insight to get my head around the album as a whole and thereby deliver any kind of in-depth, informed analysis. Not that I ever do that.

Suffice to say that – although a challenge to accommodate due to its enormous length and equally generous girth – ‘Intra Naos’ is a monstrously great triple record set and a thing of mysterious beauty that’ll I’ll be going back to for as long as I’m here.

Evilometer: 666/666


Friday, May 5th, 2017

Rebirth Of Nefast - TabernaculumRebirth Of Nefast’s sprawling debut full-length, ‘Tabernaculum’, is an intricate, complex, ambitious and utterly stunning work of art painstakingly woven into a pitch black tapestry by an individual who toiled and toiled and toiled until he could toil no more. Wann / Stephen Lockhart invested every fibre of his being into ensuring that the album was perfect and his notoriously-pernickety approach has paid rich, rich dividends.

Cinematic in scope, the six songs (61 minutes) presented are multi-textured, multi-layered orations, loaded with hidden depths, details and nuances, utterly breath-taking in conception, execution and delivery. The attention to detail on every note of ‘Tabernaculum’ is staggering and it is simply astonishing to think that this remarkable record is predominantly the bitter fruit of just one man’s labour.

What mind can dream it up, then make it happen?

The vinyl edition is sumptuous and this is an album that all Black Metal devotees should investigate closely. Absolutely masterful in every conceivable way.

Evilometer: 666/666

TEITANBLOOD – ACCURSED SKIN MLP (Norma Evangelium Diaboli / The Ajna Offensive)

Sunday, March 26th, 2017

Teitanblood - Accursed Skin MLPAccursed Skin’ is a 26-minute-long, 45rpm MLP featuring one new song – the title track – paired with ‘Sanctified Dysecdysis’, which served as foil to previously-vinyl-only-track, ‘Purging Tongues’, on the 2012 ‘Woven Black Arteries’ CD EP (and was never before available on vinyl). Confused? Me too.

Even though the cost of entry is the same as it would have been for a full-length and this release could be viewed by cynical minds as something of a cash grab, I sincerely do not believe this to be the case. All Teitanblood material is worth having and it was a customer-friendly move from both label and band to make this dual offering available on black wax.

A superb record to get your ears around while awaiting the third album from these superb Spanish chaos invokers.

Evilometer: 666/666


Sunday, March 19th, 2017

Deathspell Omega - The Synarchy Of Molten BonesI’m not sure exactly what criteria Deathspell Omega deploy to determine which of their releases qualify as full-lengths and which are mini albums (nor indeed is it any of my business) but the first thing I noticed about their sixth album proper, ‘The Synarchy Of Molten Bones’, is that it is by far and away their shortest LP, passing by considerably quicker than even the magnificent 2005 offering, ‘Kénôse’, which was apparently an EP.

This one was first mooted as a new MLP but somewhere along the way, ‘The Synarchy Of Molten Bones’ became a 29-minute, four-track full-length. Considering that the epic ‘Si Monvmentvm Reqvires, Circvmspice’ is almost 78 minutes long, this latest effort is disappointingly short, even if obviously quality rules over quantity. Why can’t we have both, though?

As ever with these theologian trailblazers, the quality is of course beyond dispute but the record – which plays at 45rpm – is over way too soon. Especially considering that it had been a full six years since its predecessor, ‘Paracletus’. Maybe the well of inspiration has dried up somewhat and they didn’t want to include any filler or flog a dead horse, who knows? As things are, we get a short but sweet reminder of the brilliance of Deathspell Omega.

Evilometer: 555/666

ANTAEUS – CONDEMNATION LP (Norma Evangelium Diaboli)

Sunday, March 5th, 2017

Antaeus - CondemnationA full decade on from ‘Blood Libels’, I had subconsciously given up on ever hearing another Antaeus full-length. Thus, it was a nice surprise to learn last year that a fourth album was imminent from one of France’s truly great Black Metal exports. And ‘Condemnation’ does not disappoint.

The aggression and violence and intensity of the attack may become somewhat monotonous at times but this is blasphemous, hateful Black Metal with fuck-all frills so a mostly-one-dimensional, pummeling blitzkrieg is only to be expected. The stale production works perfectly and the record proves that Antaeus are masters of their black craft.

Spellbinding, punishing stuff from two decorated veterans of the dark arts (aided by a rather excellent Portuguese session drummer of Lvcifyre, Enthroned and Nightbringer infamy, whose militaristic precision embellishes the attack magnificently), the album contains an occasional moment of restraint, offering scant mercy in the face of a skull-imploding barrage of buzzing Satanism.

Deliberately understated and un-grandiose, ‘Condemnation’ came across as somewhat subdued and uninspired upon initial listens, but I persevered with it and, fuck me sideways, was I richly rewarded or was I richly rewarded…

Simply immense.

Evilometer: 666/666


Saturday, July 12th, 2014

Dead Congregation - Promulgation Of The FallI have to chuckle when I read references to how Dead Congregation spent six years working on their sophomore album, as if that entire time was dedicated to honing the perfect Death Metal masterpiece. I can assure you there’s no way the Greeks invested on average nine months per song working on ‘Promulgation Of The Fall’!

Because, while this is a very solid, enjoyable and worthy release, it is by no means an exceptional one.

Eight songs; forty minutes; great listen. Not the most memorable music you’ll hear but is it that important for music to stick in your head after you’ve stopped listening to it? I’m more interested in the impact it makes while I’m listening, not afterwards. Fuck afterwards should be the mantra to life. (Don’t think I ever go around humming or whistling Death Metal or Black Metal tunes in the shower anyway.)

Pity all the offerings aren’t as utterly immense as the seven-minute, seventh outing ‘Schisma’; pity too about the wanky solos; having said that, ‘Promugulation…’ is still well worth buying (even if not consistently brilliant). Some interesting pace changes add to the overall dynamic (but also cause proceedings to get bogged down at times when the intensity drops, perhaps most conspicuously during the last tune on Side A, ‘Quintessence Maligned’).

The vinyl edition looks fantastic, with an inlay and lyrics included.

Evilometer: 444/666

TEITANBLOOD – DEATH 2LP (Norma Evangelium Diaboli)

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

Teitanblood - DeathIt’s very easy to review this album. ‘Death’ is a savage, blistering, chaotic slab of Death Metal that will rip your fucking face. Off. Somehow, Teitanblood have managed to trump their immense debut ‘Seven Chalices’ with one of the most coruscating, crushing, monstrous collections of tunes to grace my stereo in a long, long time.

In the midst of the unforgiving aural maelstrom, there are just enough breathers to make the battering ram bearable. But, for the most part, ‘Death’ is a bludgeoning blitzkrieg of irresistible force, a full-length that will leave you stunned, shattered and yet yearning for more.

Took me a few listens to really get into this one, but the more I hear it now, the better it seems to get. In a word: immense. Seventy minutes of mayhem not to be missed, then, but I do feel that a double-vinyl merits a gatefold jacket (moan, bitch, wail et al).

Evilometer: 666/666

DEATHSPELL OMEGA – DROUGHT MLP (Norma Evangelium Diaboli)

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

Generally speaking, I don’t place much stock in EPs or mini-albums due to the disappointing disparity between the paltry amount of music and the still-considerable price of admission. A typical MLP costs almost as much as a full-length but is perhaps half as long – poor value in any man’s language. On the other hand, we are kind of railroaded into purchasing these stopgap releases as, well, how else do we get to own the new tracks? And, in fairness, many EPs are really good…

In the case of Deathspell Omega, their latest MLP comprises six new songs (including the obligatory intro and outro) spread over the course of 21 magical minutes. When the fare is as fantastic as this, it’s difficult to be critical. The band could easily have slowed things down a bit and made this release a little longer but instead they go hell for leather, tearing through the songs at breakneck speed but still infusing plenty of trademark DsO technicality into the mix.

The record comes with a great cover and an inlay with the lyrics included and, for obvious reasons, represents a much better buy than the CD version. Including postage, it will set you back almost the same as an album proper, but this is definitely one instance where quality reigns over quantity (though, obviously, I crave more). Deathspell Omega are on fire on this mini album and I have no hesitation in declaring that ‘Drought’ is as intense, complete and well-rounded as most full-length albums.

Superb stuff. Try not to let the length (or lack of it) put you off – just listen to the record twice each time you take it out!

Evilometer: 666/666


Saturday, June 25th, 2011

There’s nothing new on this release, music-wise, but “Diabolus Absconditus / Mass Grave Aesthetics” is well worth purchasing if you don’t already own these two stellar tracks. “Diabolus Absconditus” was Deathspell Omega’s contribution to the mandatory Northern Heritage triple album “Crushing The Holy Trinity”, while “Mass Grave Aesthetics” was released separately as an EP in its own right three years later (2008). Together, they make for a wonderful ‘album’ (which is listed as an EP but costs the price of a full-length and, in fairness, lasts for a full 42 minutes).

The two length tracks sound like they may well have been recorded as part of the same session (I think this may be the case but am not sure…). This is prime DsO, with a myriad of sounds and emotions churned out in amid a maelstrom of orthodoxy. There are plenty of tempo changes and no shortage of atmosphere but proceedings remain harsh and ‘black’ throughout, as the band eases through its tried and trusted template in stunning fashion. I believe these two songs are as strong as anything else this great outfit has released and – cynical as I am – I refuse to disregard this as a label cash-grab. It’s a worthwhile release and one you should consider tracking down.

Evilometer: 555/666