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The amazing debut album "Ante Matter" for the Italian black metal band "Divine Codex" was a huge black spot on the darkest level of the black metal sheet, the ink isn't dry yet and the band renewed the amazing old spot with more extinctive and ruinous colors. Atum and Guh Lu have taken advantages of every musical technic on earth to create such an enormous record, and now the album "The Dark Descent" is a great solid example of complex noise of hate and anger, Mighty Hordes Productions launched the black metal reactor (The Dark Descent) to be a lesson for all who try to make complex and inhuman black metal records.
First of all, the album's intro "The Dark Descent" gives a cold impression of how the music will be like, and then the 90's black metal days have come back again to live with the track "Supreme Catharsis Sythesized", the textile of the vocals and the characteristic of the guitar riffing reminded me of the old Mayhem and Gehenna, I really enjoyed the drumming of Atum, this guy's hands are made of complex hammering machines. After I finished listening to the first blast, I prepared myself for the next one and I enjoyed every single moment of the track "Domain Of The Fallen", there are a lot of guitar progression and many grim blast-beats would satisfy every single anarchic feeling inside your mind.
The third blast "Journey Through Dyng Dimensions" begins a very long and deep tunnel of dementia and megalomania, a huge structured lunatic riffs and skull-crashing drumming work, and all of these feelings continue on the following track "Outer Source Of Reality" that begins with more dynamic and embossed atmosphere, and then the smell of the Norwegian Marduk fills the place, many clear influences are mixed and butchered all together. The hellish blasts haven't finished yet, the superb group continues this potential album with the track "The Last Sacrifice", the music is still full of cruel feelings and suicidal insanity.
The thrilling track "Decrepitude Enigma" is my favorite track in this disorder, the structure of the compositions now is getting slower and there are more motive lead guitar role, this track started with Darkthrone's ritual style and continued with Marduk's blast-beating spirit, and somehow the total sounds remind me of the old Ulver and the debut album for the Norwegian band Immortal. After listening seven tracks of non-stopping blasting black metal fury, I decided to go further for the next track "Psycho Maze Vortex", The drumming and the bass sound have been dying hand in hand, and the same method has been used on Gorgoroth's albums. The last track "The Continuum Device" begins with mid-paced drum-beat and slow guitar section, Bathory and Satyricon are combined here, especially the flowing guitar sound and the tireless drumming efforts.
Finally, there are a lot of black metal albums around the world, and a lot of groups worked really hard to achieve such a sharp intelligent hard music, the fast scenarios of the guitars in this record show a lot of talent and tight vision. If you prefer this kind of fast and hard black metal albums then this album will be a hit for you, but if you are searching for more flexible and plastic kind of black metal, then you should search away from this place.
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Seemingly not intending to be predictable and in accordance with their off the cuff recording style, Divine Codex's sophomore is quite a different beast to Ante Matter. It's less brutal and a little less angry than the snarling, chaotic debut. It has more in common with Norwegian black metal constructions, all racing blasts and gritty vocals soaring above the guitars. Took me quite a while to really get into it as well, as opposed to the last album which had me by the nads upon the first spin.
Notably it clocks in over 50 minutes, with 'Journey Through Dying Dimensions' and 'Decrepitude Enigma' coming in past the 9 minute mark. Atum and Guh.Lu seemingly decided to scrap the interludes that peppered the debut and plump for longer songs, creating a pretty much non-stop near-hour of blasting atmospheric black metal.
'Supreme Catharsis Synthesized' sums the album up pretty well - memorable as hell and more atmospheric. Amazing, predominantly blasting drums, cool chants, one of this year's hits for me. Fortunately for me that vibe is all over this record - 'Domain of the Fallen' is pretty much a sequel to that opening song, and 'Journey Through Dying Dimensions' is like an expanded version of it, and in fact with the almost constantly fast drums and pleasant, droning guitars buzzing constantly, the whole album falls together pretty well.
The atmosphere is realized better than ever. If Ante Matter was a violent tumble out of the airlock into the unforgiving void, The Dark Descent is exploring some abandoned intergalactic outpost, the promise of Lovecraftian monstrosities in every pitch crevice. Some chanting vocals add to the astral feel here and there, booming low end voices that make you think of hostile ancient landscapes and H.R. Giger. I particularly like the groaning chants at the end of 'Outer Source of Reality'.
Guh.Lu's approach to riffs this time tend to make way for the enhanced presence of the keyboards, mostly sinister tremolo lines. Every now and again you get a surprise though, some epic chugging, a more hyperactive and galloping riff, doom metal sections in 'Decrepitude Enigma', the Behemoth style opening to 'Outer Source of Reality'.
Atum once again proves himself a killer drummer, very technical and pretty original, lacing on some ear candy here and there. His approach is slightly more straightforward this time around - blast, d-beat, blast, but his fills and rolls are crazy awesome. Setherial's polymath drummer Alastor Mysteriis is back on vocal duty, supplying lustful rasps, gurning mutters and other weird sounds. He's a great choice for this kind of nasty, oppressive yet vast vibe.
In terms of grumbles, I would say that 'Psycho Maze Vortex' only gets interesting halfway through, hampered initially by some slightly predictable riffing and a lack of atmosphere, and that the otherwise fantastic 'Decrepitude Enigma' might drag a bit by the time you get into its final minute. Other than that, not much fat on this platter at all.
It's hard to pick between this and Ante Matter for a favourite - this is a longer listen, without the schizophrenic mood and near flawless compactness of the previous record, but perhaps more accomplished in terms of its emotional impact, and really rewards multiple experiences. A lot of the stuff here I like more than the material on the debut, it's just got a couple of dud moments as well. Totally different listening experience overall, but should still appeal if you liked the last album - or if the idea of a Marduk-Darkspace hybrid turns you on.
After their highly acclaimed 2010 debut full length album, Ante Matter, Italian black metal horde Divine Codex returns with their follow-up, The Dark Descent. Ante Matter sees the band presenting a cold and haunting journey to the listener, and The Dark Descent sees the band further exploring and expanding the sound that they have crafted on Ante Matter.
Right from the opening track, The Dark Descent displays the band's atmospheric style of black metal, reminiscent of the early Norwegian black metal pioneers, both in the riffing patterns of guitarist Guh Lu and the heavy atmosphere that is present throughout the album. Session vocalist Mysteriis (of Setherial fame), who also contributed vocals to the band's previous album Ante Matter are even more tortured here, reminding listeners of a cross between other prominent vocalists such as Attila and Marduk's Mortuus, often sending chills down the listener's spine. To add to the dramatic effects of the album, clean backing vocals are also utilised, sounding like chants and creating a ritualistic feel, such as on The Dark Descent.
As mentioned, the band also expands their sound on this album, and this is evident from riffing patterns such as on the intro of Domain of the Fallen, where there is an almost viking/folk metal feel, and Decrepitude Enigma even induces a sense of hopelessness and depression in the listener, though for the most part the coldness of the music reminds one of their Finnish counterparts instead. The increased inclusion of lead guitar segments on the album also helps in providing a more dynamic sound in the record, such as the haunting lead lines on Journey Through Dying Dimensions that help in reinforcing the ambience in the music as well. Fabio's solo style in particular stands out on Decrepitude Enigma, with his unique style reminding listeners of his contributions to such records as Impiety's Worshippers release, and this is definitely a nice touch to the music, preventing the album from sounding too monotonous and flat.
While Guh Lu have in the past and present been involved in numerous other bands such as Xeper and Impiety, Divine Codex sees him presenting a vastly different style from his other projects. Unlike the many other black metal bands of late, Divine Codex does not attempt to crush one with complete aggression, choosing to instead drown listeners in a nicely crafted atmospheric journey. If one loved 2010's Ante Matter, The Dark Decent is certainly an album that one would enjoy thoroughly, and is a step up from the band's previous material.