Black Metal Roundup: Csejthe + Chaos Invocation + Horna + Servi Diaboli

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Reviews by Jason Guest

There is a dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the oubliette of Midlands Rocks Towers whence occasionally emerges a dark figure to deliver unto us all things sinister, unholy and sacrilegious. This time it’s four black metal albums for review:

  • Csejthe – Réminiscence
  • Chaos Invocation – Black Mirror Hours
  • Horna – Askel Lähempänä Saatanaa
  • Servi Diaboli – We Are Hidden EP

 

Csejthe – Réminiscence

Nope, I can’t pronounce the band name either. But the pain you endure in attempting to do so will no doubt be equivalent to the humiliation, suffering and torture experienced by those who found themselves the unlucky inhabitants of Countess Bathory’s castle of cruelty after which this Canadian black metal triumvirate are baptized. Réminiscence, album number two from Csejthe, is nothing less than striking.  It is just beautiful. With the blackest of wrath scorched into every galloping riff, the most acute of emotion carved into the agonised melodies, and such sadness and melancholic abandon woven into this album’s miasmic wonder, ambient, atmospheric, acrid and amaroidal, this is an accomplished album, an experience that, like Countess Bathory’s cruciations, must be endured to the cathartic end to savour its splendour.

Csejthe – Réminiscence9 out of 10

Track listing:

  1. Oraison
  2. Reminiscence
  3. Chasseresse
  4. L’antique Blason
  5. Adjuration
  6. Dorko, La Malveillante
  7. Malefice
  8. Chant Des Martyres

 

 


 

Chaos Invocation – Black Mirror Hours

Four years after their 2009 début full length, In Bloodline With The Snake, Germany’s Satanic coterie Chaos Invocation have returned to deliver unto us another slavering salver of blasphemous black metal torn from the underbelly of the naughty horned one in whose shadow they gleefully reside. Fierce and merciless, across Black Mirror Hours, Chaos Invocation introduce a number of diverse elements that augment rather than enhance their darkened leanings. There a number of progressive passages where twisted rhythms and melodic leads are incorporated successfully into the ebony webs, and the ceremonial chants and impious atmospherics of the album – particularly in ‘Faces On My Spiritual Plane’ and ‘Lord Of Our Temple’ – are nothing less than harrowing. What sets this album apart from the usual irreverent egesta of the Devil’s horde is Chaos Invocation’s willingness to draw the veils of the underworld together with that of the otherworldly. Ritualistic, barbarous and bloodthirsty, pandemonium unbound reigns throughout. Excellent.

28+01 Kopie.eps7 out of 10

Track listing:

  1. Delirium Worship And Total Abandon
  2. The Mirror
  3. Beyond Coming
  4. The Beckoning Flame
  5. Hypertoxication
  6. Faces On My Spiritual Plane
  7. Lord Of Our Temple
  8. Funeral Messiah
  9. Towards The Boundless Horizon
  10. Walking In His City
  11. Into The Living Darkness

 


 

Horna – Askel Lähempänä Saatanaa

Finland’s Horna have been quiet for a while. Besides a few splits and EPs as well as a live album, it’s been five years since their last full length, 2008’s Sanojesi Äärelle. Nothing’s changed. In fact, little has changed since their inception in the 90s. This is as old school as their material was when it was, erm… “new school”. The venom that brought this band into existence is as potent as it’s ever been. Despite Shatraug having a distinct intolerance for rest between albums – and bands for that matter – he is still able to summon forth the malignant spirits of hell with every strike of his six-stringed demon conjurer with a level of aplomb that would make Crowley weep in envy. Having proved his worth with the 2011 EP Adventus Satanae, Spellgoth has settled into his role as vocalist and his savage torment has become a distinct asset in Horna’s harsh, primitive aesthetic. Of course, other than a new vocalist and a new bassist, Hex Inferi – buried somewhere in the mix and making the occasional cameo appearance in the slower passages – Horna haven’t changed and so this is exactly what you’d expect from Horna: a Horna album. Once more into the abyss…

Horna – Askel Lähempänä Saatanaa7.5 out of 10

Track listing:

  1. Alku
  2. Askel Lähempänä Saatanaa
  3. Kunnia, Herralle, Kuninkaalle
  4. Kuolema Kuoleman Jälkeen
  5. Yhdeksäs Portti
  6. Ei Aikaa Kyyneleille
  7. Kärsimyksin Vuoltu Hänen Valittuna Äänenään
  8. Aamutähden Pyhimys
  9. Pala Tai Palvele
  10. Ota Omaksesi, Luoksesi

 

 


 

Servi Diaboli – We Are Hidden EP

Spain’s Servi Diaboli go straight for the jugular, each of the four tracks on this muddy EP blasting their blasphemous wrath in an unremitting tirade of blast beats, ice-cold riffs, tumultuous drumming, and malicious vocals. With the odd nod in the direction of death metal, there’s also the occasional experimentation with off time rhythms, a curious bass-line, and a pointless flanger effect in ‘The First Night Of The Vampire’. Yet these attempts to bring an interesting dimension to what is otherwise pretty standard black metal fare serve more to highlight how ordinary this EP is.

Servi Diaboli – We Are Hidden EP5 out of 10

Track listing:

  1. Sinful Sounds
  2. The Night
  3. The First Night Of A Vampire
  4. We Are Hidden