All that black metal should be…
- Délétère – De Ritibus Morbiferis – Demo Compendium
- Délétère – Les Heures de la Peste
- Ether – Hymns of Failure
Délétère – De Ritibus Morbiferis – Demo Compendium
Release date: 7 April 2015
This compendium brings together the 2012 Inopia et Morbo demo and the 2013 Sacrificium Necrothytum demo and for those who missed them the first time around, introduces the combined efforts of Atheos (of Monarque) and Thorleif (Valknacht, ex-Utlagr). And as demos go, these are a cut above.
Following the chimes and the haunting organ of ‘Credo’ the intelligent design of Inopia Et Morbo is unveiled. The ambient aspects of the tracks augment the already cold, crusted and decaying atmospherics of the three bookended tracks. Balancing melody with melancholy and miasma with might, they are vicious and penetrating. With the use of keys to bring some sonic diversity to the tracks, they largely follow the guitars and act as padding but there are passages where they push the music into the manic and the maniacal. A very impressive opening statement.
Next demo Sacrificium Necrothytum sees Délétère maintaining the intelligence in their approach to design and upping the raw and the primitive. Other than the closing title track, there’s less of the organ and ambience and more of the pointed atmospherics and relentless riffing. With ‘Milites Pestilentiae’ and ‘Terveneficus’ at over seven minutes, the band take their time to explore dynamics and textures keeping the desire for a direct attack for ‘Sales Vestales’. A near-four minute burst of repetitive riffing and corrosive vocals, it’s just a shame about that irritating recorder-like whistle taking the edge off. With these demos, Délétère established themselves as a more-than interesting prospect.
8 out of 10
Inopia Et Morbo
- Une Lampée De Ciguë
- Le Cantique Des Vers
- Le Caveau
- Milites Pestilentiae
- Sales Vestales
- Sacrificium Necrothytum
Délétère – Les Heures de la Peste
Release date: 7 April 2015
With a lot to live up to after two impressive demos to their name, Délétère’s debut album sees the duo crisp up the production and take a tighter grip on their sound. Self-assured and refined, Les Heures de la Peste is (please forgive the cliché) the natural progression for the band. Where most bands tend to spend a lifetime trying to recapture the feel of their first demos, Délétère have distilled its essence and produced eight concentrated tracks of relentless rage.
The range in the vocal style has developed, Thorlief taking the opportunity to engage with the music and bring what is necessary for what befits both the lyrics and the music. And with each instrument cemented into place with the album’s apposite production, decay and force are perfectly combined in shadows just light enough to discern the music’s depths and dark enough to be menacing. There’s nothing that can be said about this album except that it is remarkable. This is all that black metal should be.
9 out of 10
- Matines – Portepeste
- Laudes – Credo II
- Prime – Exitiabilis venatus
- Tierce – Aux thaumaturges égarés, une étoile nécrosée
- Sexte – Une charogne couronnée de fumier
- None – Le Lait de l’essaim
- Vêpres – Architectes de la Peste
- Complies – Une garce vénale en majesté
Ether – Hymns of Failure
Release date: 7 April 2015
Six tracks in ninety minutes, it can’t be said that Scythrawl has been lazy in the eight years since their first full length, 2007’s Depraved, Repressed Feelings. Like its predecessor, Ether’s Hymns of Failure is a harrowing journey through the torment and loathing hacking away at its author’s sanity. And like its predecessor, the album is structured in the same way, the six protracted surges of dark, cold, malicious and melancholic black metal joined together by atmospheric/ambient pieces (this time as the closing part of each track rather than individually titled pieces).
Between ten and twenty three minutes, each track is an epic. The frayed, furious and melodic riffs are mesmerising, the measured tempos providing a befittingly decayed and twisted landscape for the self-destruction, self-loathing and hatred in the chilling and disturbing lyrics. Scythrawl’s vocals range between pained shrieks, coldly spoken self-destruction, and harmony-laced melodies and so the agony and distress, the hate, the hurt, the fear and the hostility are conveyed very effectively. The track titles are more than apt and give a clear insigt into what each track is about. ‘Failure’ is sorrowful and agonising, ‘Enmity’ is wrath embodied, ‘Coldness’ is, well, cold, ‘Emptiness’ is brimming with a deep sense of yearning, ‘Hypersensitivity’ is vulnerable and fragile, and ‘Isolation’, at twenty for minutes, leads us further and further away from the world before leaving us with a gently pulsing tone to intensify the solitude.
Like most albums beyond the one hour mark, it falls foul here and there. ‘Hypersensitivity’ and ‘Isolation’ feel drawn out; some of the riffs across the album could easily be swapped with little to no impact; and the lyrics, the spoken passages in particular, are prone to cliché. But with the album treading darker and more experimental paths as it proceeds, Hymns of Failure is a significant improvement on the first album (though the vocals can still be annoying). At ninety minutes, for some it’ll perhaps be too much for one sitting (in fact it could easily have been split into two equally successful albums). It may have its flaws but in terms of both composition and production, these hymns are far from a failure.
7.5 out of 10