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Black Cilice > A Corpse, a Temple > Reviews
Black Cilice - A Corpse, a Temple

Disoriented chaos - 99%

Traumawillalwayslinger, January 29th, 2024
Written based on this version: 2011, 12" vinyl, Discipline Productions

Raw black metal is a very dark, dense genre. Containing some of the roughest, barbaric, and most intense music imaginable. It’s also a place where you gotta dig through a lot of trash to find the gems. And I’m glad to say that Black Cilice is one of those gems. Their style of raw black metal is something very powerful while remaining insanely simplistic. It's a band that needs your full attention whenever you listen to it, it can also be a very rough and hard listen at times because of how abrasive it is. But for me after a while, I got used to it and fell in love with this band. And I’m happy to say that “A Corpse, A Temple” has grown to be one of my favorite black metal albums in general.

First off let’s talk about the production. Jesus Christ, this thing is fucking raw. Like holy hell as soon as “The Gate of Sulpher” kicks in you are immediately submerged in this wall of noise. The music is intense and nihilistic, taking no prisoners in its attack of raw black metal. Black Cilice has all the traits a black metal fiend would love to death. Unapologetic blast beats, evil tremolos, and absolutely haunting vocals. Which are these very dissonant and downright disturbing howls and screams. There’s so much reverb to them it sounds utterly ghoulish and hateful. This is not an album for a casual black metal listener, its ear-splitting noise is a test of your endurance. Pushing you to the absolute limits with its ruthless vocals and blasting instruments.

Luckily the raw production doesn’t drown out the music in any way. Because the music is the heart of this album. When it comes to the songwriting and execution Black Cilice bashes your skull in with simplicity. The music right from the start grabs you by the throat and brings you along for a journey of pure frostbitten terror. Not once does it give you any breathing room because the barrage of black metal constantly keeps you drowning in a wall of pure animalistic noise. The riffs are very powerful yet overly simple in their approach. But it’s not just blast beats and the same riff for over 33 minutes. There are enough changes in the riffage and drums to where it’ll keep you hooked for the entire album.

The atmosphere of this album is very special. Never before has a raw black metal album grasped my attention and soul as much as this album has. Its melancholic riffs and sorrowful vocals hit me hard, it’s a feeling I’ll never forget whenever I listen to this record. I was a fan of the LLN, Moonblood, and all the other main raw black metal bands. But holy hell this band was a whole testimony of how far you can push the boundaries. Its primitive nature in the vein of raw black metal is easily recognizable and it will strangle you with its atmosphere.

When it comes to riffing it’s a typical example of raw black metal. The guitar tone is extremely sharp and rough around the edges and it WILL break your eardrums. The riffs are a mixture of simple tremolos, as well as other sections and riff changes/variations. Each song is filled with these yet it doesn’t feel overdone or boring. The raw production like I said doesn’t drown out the guitars. You can hear each individual riff and tremolo quite well. It’s got a lot of good rhythms and pattern changes, it doesn’t happen often but it does happen enough to keep your interest.

Honing in on the drums now everything I said about the guitars can be applied here. It’s very simple and VERY intense, dominating the listener with repetitive blast beats. There’s a good enough variety as there are a lot of fills and rhythmic patterns/beats. Never once straying away from the cold and primitive atmosphere and approach. The drums are probably the most pummeling and challenging thing to listen to. They also are the rawest thing on this release. The blast beats are ungodly loud and the kick drums and double bass sound insanely raw. It’s something that’s definitely not for everyone, and it’s a true line in the sand as to whether or not you’re willing to dive deeper into black metal.

With all the simplicity going on the music manages to remain memorable and mesmerizing. The vocals, guitars, and drums all serve a purpose. They all are a perfect blend of catchiness and repetitive chaos that makes this album a unique piece in the sea of millions of generic bands. My favorite song is probably “The Gate of Sulpher” because it’s the first Black Cilice song I ever heard. And it has the most memorable vocal parts and riffs in my opinion. Another good song is “Among Dead Rats” as it has this nice mid-paced feel to it. Throwing in a lot of fills and build-up beats before transitioning into the usual black metal assault.

Black Cilice doesn’t give a fuck about trends or being popular. This band is meant to scare, repulse, and disgust you as well as everyone who listens to it. And that’s why I love it. This band does its own thing. Following in the footsteps of many masterful raw black metal bands perfectly while also sounding great and unique. If you love the LLN and Drowning The Light and you’re willing to test your limits as a black metal fan. Check this out and prepare yourself. For some of the most raw, primitive, and haunting music you will ever hear. A truly amazing experience.

Sheer intense noise BM harbours hidden treasure - 80%

NausikaDalazBlindaz, September 30th, 2016

Just when I had thought that all my misspent years listening to raw black metal wind-tunnel noise could be tucked away safely in a small corner of my past, to be treasured on occasion and only brought out in the presence of insufferable company (such as you might meet at an art gallery opening or when you're invited to be part of the audience at a TV debate between two equally odious presidential or prime ministerial candidates), along comes a mysterious horde called Black Cilice with a discography and a history of being part of a super-horde network called the Black Circle that I think I need to check out. I decide to go straight for the jugular and delve into the band's first album "A Corpse, A Temple" whose title suggests very serious Satanic worship, an obsession with secret rituals that might include human sacrifice, and a desire to transcend the boundaries and limitations of the physical world and escape one's fellow (and much hated) humans hell-bent on their own destruction.

From start to finish without pause this record is sheer intense noise and aggression, but there's also plenty of deep howling sadness, a surprising amount of groove (especially in the last track) and definite riffs and melodies. The pace varies quite a lot too, mirroring changes in mood. The primitive approach adopted with regard to recording and production renders the music raw and fresh. Probably the only annoying thing Black Cilice do is mark the end of each song with short pauses as each track could pass into the next with the transition marked in changes of riffs, rhythm or dark background ambience, and so maintaining and escalating that claustrophobic, sickening tone of the album. Percussion is tinny and floppy and the tremolo guitars have a trashy sound with hellish lead guitar lines. Vocals are restricted to howls, moans, shrieks and groans and these are probably the most harrowing and unbearable aspect of Black Cilice's style.

With each passing song, the album becomes more unearthly and disorienting. One middle track "Blood to Murder" in particular has a delirious, almost frenzied mood that engulfs your head and never lets go. The tone is downbeat and energy-draining. The punishment continues with the screaming "Resurrection of Dead Curses" with guitars and drums scrabbling furiously under a hail of ghost howls and wails that just goes on and on.

Without doubt this is a really intense if rather repetitive recording, notable for the howling vocals, the raw sounds and production, and the sense of someone or something trapped beneath the barrage of noise and trying to escape. The only problem I have with the music is that all songs, once started on their particular paths, continue in the same way for their entire lengths without any progress onto another more intense level of derangement. Listening to the album can be a gruelling experience but there are gems of near-psychedelic delirium and sections of the utmost despair and desolation to be found.

Grim. - 95%

Zerstorer1611, July 5th, 2014

Black metal has changed much since it first started to gain strength, back in the late eighties and early nineties, black metal diversified and soon many bands surfaced with a much cleaner and accessible sound, or a faster one similar to Marduk and Dark Funeral, others opted to follow a more melodic approach and the rest merely copied and rehashed Darkthrone's style. However, as black metal slowly evolved into a bastardization and mockery of what it once was, in the far reaches of Portugal, one of the most overlooked nations of europe when it comes to metal, a new "scene" started to slowly develop, a scene that has the distinction of being quite likely, the "sequel" of the long-dead Black Legions, it is the Portuguese Black Circle...

A Corpse, A Temple honours the traditions and the sound of old-school raw black metal, it is primitive, cold, ferocious, hateful, dark and evil. Black Cilice surely knows how to channel a deep hatred and grimness into their music behind a wall of noise. The riffs are quite simple, yet they immediately succeed at placing you in a vast, frozen desert of despair and hatred, with the drums constantly punishing you with a barrage of blast beats. With every passing second, your mind is tormented with the ear-piercing howls and shrieks of a demented madman, reaching for your very soul and gripping it, squeezing the life out of you with frozen fingers.

However and despite it's simplicity, A Corpse, A Temple isn't boring or excessively repetitive, a mistake often made by many modern "raw black metal" bands; there's a few riff changes throughout the duration of the album, just enough to keep the music fresh (if such a word can be applied to this music) and your ear hooked without sounding overdone; there are also slower passages which offer you a small break from this constant punishment. The noise that permeates this album is very odd; while it is immediately distinctive and extremely abrasive to the point it may scare away a lot of so called "black metal fans" it doesn't shadows or makes the riffs unidentifiable as is the case of Ultor for example. One can easily keep track of the riffs and it's changes, as well as the varied drum patterns.

Vocally speaking there's no variation AT ALL, most of the album features high-pitched howls and shrieks, it seems like vocals didn't matter much to the band, as the vocals here sound more as if their true purpose was simply to sink you even further into a growing and seemingly endless despair and sorrow. Despite the lack of variation, the brilliance and atmosphere this album carries is enough to make this a non-issue, and in my opinion, the vocals fit the music excellently.

Black Cilice makes it clear from the very first track that it doesn't cares about trends in black metal; Its sheer and utter simplicity is part of it's magic, some may be scared away by this album, others may take time to appreciate it but once you finally realize the magic of A Corpse, A Temple, you WILL be hooked. The atmosphere that Black Cilice manages to invoke is the same atmosphere that LLN bands created so long ago, one filled with despair, death and darkness, an utterly savage assault of bare-bones black metal that seeks to pierce your heart and suck the life out of you...

If you seek raw and hateful black metal in the vein of Les Legions Noires and Ildjarn, listen to this and Mons Veneris or even better yet, listen to ALL the Black Circle bands, the true inheritors of the Black Legions legacy. As a final point: You MUST listen to this preferably during the night, alone, where it's cold fingers will reach for your heart to squeeze the life out of you.

A Shroud of Distortion - 86%

ImpureSoul, April 13th, 2014

I wasn't sure what to make of Black Cilice’s A Corpse, a Temple—or any of their albums for that matter—for a long time. They’re a black metal band raw enough to embarrass just about any other band that attempts the same tone. Despite operating on sheer relentlessness, their lo-fi recorded-in-the-forest-during-satanic-blood-ritual production contains a floor-shaking low end while the high end assaults you almost from inside your skull. The opening blizzard of notes in the first track, Gate of Sulphur, rips into the listener, creating a claustrophobic atmosphere that perfectly captures the misanthropic beginnings of the black metal genre. I would almost describe Back Cilice’s sound as experimental noise, except for the fact that the razor-esque guitars are quite discernible and there is indeed a sense of progression in the tracks underneath the churning and swirling flow. Musically, ignoring the production and elements of noise and avant-garde, I’d have to compare the style of riffing here to early Burzum or Mayhem, except faster (think of the riffs in Funeral Fog).

The ferocity is what caught my attention, but the vocals are what glued me. I've heard the whole echo-howls countless times before, but most of the time it comes off as silly (I always pictured little kids screaming “wooooooooooo” while dressed up as Halloween ghosts), but here the vocals are so bizarre that I almost thought they were some sort of synth effect from the first listen. In the context of the music, it almost sounds like wind raging through a forest, siren wails and bellows coming from all directions. This style builds A Corpse, a Temple into something totally unique and haunted. Being that the voice is the only aspect of the music that isn't totally destructive in sound (as compared to the sand-paper guitars and pounding drums), I would cite them as an unexpected and bizarre source of beauty in the music, adding a surreal dimension to the whirling snowstorm of churning riffs and completely complementing the intense atmosphere.

Most importantly, Black Cilice is able to execute all of this sheer lo-fi worship without letting themselves fall victim to parody. The riffs are not lost, nor are they repetitive for the sole purpose of creating a backdrop of hiss that the black metal freaks crave. There are some excellent, memorable riffs hidden in every track, some of them whispering under the static, others flying out of the distortion shroud (like the opener for Gate of Sulphur). The pace is not monotonous by any means either—Among Dead Rats opens with slower, more open-spaced riffs that allow the vocals to come to the forefront and handle the initial weight of the song alone before breaking out into one of the best riffs on the album. Resurrection of Dead Curses makes good use of drum pattern shifts to alter the flow of the music, often reverting to ritualistic beats. The stop-start breaks in Night’s Veil really serve as emphasis marks on the power dynamic of the music, demonstrating that this band is not as one-note as the dime-a-dozen bands that crowd the “raw” scene.

A Corpse, a Temple is not easy to digest by any means, though it certainly is worth listening to if you’re any kind of fan of black metal, even if your first instinct is to throw off your headphones the minute the music cuts into you. Black Cilice works best in smaller doses during the right type of mood, but they are an incredibly effective black metal band if given a proper listen. They seem to be aware of this fact, since this album (their longest release to date) only clocks in at 33 minutes, which for me works perfectly, despite a bit of a lag during the track Blood to Murder. It’s about exactly the kind of music you’d want to hear from an enigma mystery band out of Portugal. Repeat listens are encouraged.

Recommended tracks: Resurrection of Dead Curses, Among Dead Rats.

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