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Simple and repetitive but great ambiance. - 54%

MrMetalpants, December 21st, 2017
Written based on this version: 2017, Digital, Debemur Morti Productions (Bandcamp)

I'd like to start by saying how much I appreciated the ambiance and feel that this album invokes. From start to finish it is loaded with plenty of emotion. This is probably it's strongest quality and I'll leave it up to you to determine if that's enough substance to sustain a whole album's worth of material. For me, it was not. Let's dig in.

The writing here is respectable in that it makes so much out of so little. The songs have catchy tunes, like the opening lead on "Chorea Macchabeorum" but that lead gets reused and is the basis for the rest of the song. This happens often where a simple idea gets used as the core of a song. They benefit from writing short song lengths here because of the previous point (See "Abisme"). There's no frills or anything too flashy about it, and by extension that rings true with the rest of the writing. That opening lead sets a standard for the lead guitar for the rest of the album. They try to do a few half-assed solos, like on "Apostasis" which ends up doing more harm than good. The tones used aren't terrible, but the writing is. There are some interesting compositions on songs like "Revelatio" and "Abisme", but like what plagues the rest of the album, it ends up having not that much going on. That would make for a great ambient black metal release but it's trying to also be industrial so it battles itself. The most notable way is the guitars which we'll talk about in the next paragraph.

As mentioned above, the lead works best when setting a repetitive little lick over the chorus; In this area it exceeds. They can actually be the catchiest part of the song. The drums never really break out into their own, which here it totally works because the way they're so subdued helps make a lot of the industrial elements hit home. "Apostasis" is probably my favorite song on drums. Going back to the guitars, the rhythm section does just as good as a job of honing in the industrial elements they're going for. The tone specifically helps with it's droning effect. Now the vocals... The vocals are so nonsensical and unstructured that it is grating on my ears. No, not like on "Ex Tenebrae Lucis" where they're purposely trying to make tormented sounds to sound evil, I mean the discombobulated vocal "patterns". I get that they're trying to sound as evil as possible, like on "Impius" (Which does a great job at that). Maybe some people are into this but is frustrating to hear such a lack of regard for song writing structure in the vocal department (The irony of arguing about vocal song writing in extreme metal is not lost on me). "Metanoia" features some backwards vocals which is a fun shtick, but there's far too much of it on the whole album (That's a great song, by the way). There does come a certain point when the list of voices used matches the number of actors in a full-cast production of an American Gods audio book where it should just stop. Now with all that said, there are some interesting vocal parts, but you're better off just trying to ignore them and listen to the mood created. The song "Revelatio" has the best vocals overall.

Like I mentioned above, this album does an amazing job at setting the mood. The aforementioned "Apostasis" creates a dizzying world of anxiety and terror. A lot of the songs create chaotic emotions without being too chaotic in themselves, but rather evoke that feeling in you. I should note here that the production is poor. Not stripped-down and raw like Darkthrone, but produced well and then trashed. You can tell it's clean but made fuzzy and grimy in post-production. Reminds me of the production of another release I'm reviewing which is Desolate Shrine's latest. At the end of the day, I still give them props for really creating a world of emotion and having a unique style.

Favorite tracks:
--Chorea Macchabeorum

Technical skill: 48% Originality: 73% Songwriting: 38% Structure: 62% Production: 50%