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Evil forces depiction is a prevalent theme in art history. Since antiquity, sculptors, painters and poets are developing works that embody occult powers, often to denounce, but sometimes to celebrate them instead. Through highly complex symbolism, many artists highlight their passion for the dark powers, under the inquisitorial look of ecclesiastical authorities.
However, very few artistic expressions honoring Evil hold the same strength, the same aggressiveness that black metal. This music preaches hatred, death and established religions destruction. However, like all nihilistic movements, dark metal has been diluted over the years, chastened, and ceased to frighten both priests and good people. But sometimes a band manages to find this almost mystical bond with forces of Evil, making an album that sweats blood and suffering. And Chileans from LvxCælis just did it.
Supported by Swedish label Lamech Records, this virtually unknown band launched this year its first album called Mysteria Mystica Maxima XXIII and I must admit I was shocked at first listen. These artists spread unashamedly a genuine mastery of their musical register, promoting through it the Way of the Left Hand and Luciferian Gnosis.
Band draws its inspiration from black metal’s most valuable classics, especially Sarcófago and Bathory. Riffs are heavy, trashy, fast and stunningly surrounded by tight drumming. Song introductions are mostly catchy and immediately drive the listener to tap his feet. Nothing fancy here, just efficient and well-done heavy black thrash metal with mammoth balls.
But main aesthetic characteristic of this album is based on classical music samples inserted at key moments, thus contributing to the creation of a persistent anxiety feeling. Theatrical, probably taken from horror movies, these short sequences develop grandiose and terrifying atmospheres. I must also underline the celebration of an authentic black mass right in the middle of the album! Mass for the Master leads us into a bleak universe from which springs a sinister voice reciting a prayer, supplemented by a short presentation of Gnostic doctrine on Cross of Initiation. That is an album that recalls the heyday of Satanic black metal, in perfect communion with Evil and its minions!
Mysteria Mystica Maxima XXIII cannot just be listened: it must be enjoyed in the dark, with only a candle dim light. I suggest you try it, if you want to understand the deeper meaning of black metal. Maybe you will hear the devil whispers in your ear and feel evil invades your soul.
Originally written for Métal Obscur.