Monday, February 18, 2019 03:06

Posts Tagged ‘Reverorum Ib Malacht’


Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

As you will gather from the warbling to follow, I have mixed emotions about this one, which seems to be both brilliant and rubbish at the same time. Is it possible for a record to be too cult? I appreciate a lot of what Ancient Records is doing but this one isn’t particularly hitting the spot for me.

Might have been better to leave ‘Demo 09’ alone as a cassette-only release. Records are bloody expensive things to buy and this one – intriguing and all as it is – doesn’t quite justify the expenditure.

I should probably qualify my review by pointing out that the music of Reverorum Ib Malacht on here is not Black Metal in any way, shape or form. Rather, some sort of creepy, chamber darkness with spoken chants and a horrible production resulting in a muddy sound that’s extremely frustrating. I have to turn the volume dial way UP on my stereo to hear this but still an overwhelming dullness permeates.

Having said that, I’m not one for crystal clear productions either so I do appreciate what’s going on here … to an extent … just feel that perhaps it goes a bit too far. It’s so dull that at times I feel like I’m listening to the record underwater – or with a dose of flu gripping my very essence – and it’s hard not to feel weary and dreary under these circumstances.

Also – call me petty! – there’s no track-listing included, which is somehow annoying and confusing as it appears to differ at least slightly from the running order of the original version. Is this not a basic requirement? ‘How different is it from the original?’ I wonder. ‘Where is the 29-minute song?’ ‘Was there ever one?’ I have no idea. All part of the mystery. And therein lies part of the charm of Reverorum Ib Malacht – mysterious, eerie, transcendental, non-conformist and utterly obscure.

Despite all my reservations and undoubted pettiness, I find it difficult not to admire the band and (almost) love the record. I realise this is just a demo and I understand and accept that it would have been ludicrous to alter the sound quality in any way. Preserved on vinyl, we have the exact sound reproduced in its original glory. Commendable. I applaud the integrity. (And I really hope that doesn’t sound condescending.)

I can see this record possibly growing on me as time goes by. For the time being, however, the duller-than-dishwater, way-too-analogue-for-its-own-good sound leaves me feeling indifferent.

Evilometer: 444/666


Saturday, February 18th, 2012

I don’t think it’s possible to go any deeper into the underground than this. ‘Urkaos’ is the definitive work of Swedish duo Karl Hieronymus Emil Lundin and Karl Axel Mikael Mårtensson, who wield a multitude of instruments – including harpsichord, accordion, bells, boneflute, cellos and cithers (as well as all the usual suspects) – to conjure some of the eeriest, most ethereal Black Metal you’ll ever encounter.

A sprawling work of incredible depth, vision and discipline, the album has been unleashed in glorious double vinyl format boasting all the original artwork, a cool DIY booklet (black and white, stapled together) and a CD copy of the music, all done with the assistance of The Ajna Offensive but retaining the feel of an independent release. It’s a beautiful product to have and to hold; and also to listen to.

Truthfully, though, the listening experience can be demanding at times as the production is murky and lo-fi, with about as much polish as you’d find on a tramp’s vomit-encrusted slipper. It can be difficult to get your ears beyond the dull sound but, if you persevere, you will discover a band that has all the charm and originality of Urfaust, approaching Black Metal from some leftfield terrain and producing something both interesting and challenging.

I’ve had this album for two months now and still haven’t managed to get my head around it. Did I mention that it lasts for almost 80 minutes? Reverorum Ib Malacht seem to be obsessed by Latin scripts, religious content and such like (mostly delivering their sermons by means of Gregorian chant). But I certainly wouldn’t compare this in any way to Deathspell Omega or any other orthodox BM band I’m familiar with.

Even if it isn’t always brilliant, ‘Urkaos’ is just different on so many levels that it stands out from the pack. Approaching dark ambient at times, the darkness prevails throughout and the Swedes never come close to exiting the nether realms of the deepest, deepest underground. Thus, I’d categorise this as one of the least-commercial records you are ever likely to hear, rendering it a compulsive – if pricey – acquisition.

Evilometer: 666/666