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Ayin Harsha

Morkenatten / De Vermis Mysteriis / Morkenatten & De Vermis Mysteriis

A perfect way to know both bands - 85%

godslayer666, April 21st, 2015
Written based on this version: 2014, CD, Independent (Limited edition, Digisleeve)

Split releases are always something pretty special. Two like-minded acts joins up their forces together to release materials that complement the other, and usually give the fans exclusive songs not available elsewhere. Split releases also open the platform for the bands to represent their music to a number of audiences who might be unaware of one of the bands participating. Here we have a split between Belgium’s HP Lovecraft themed ‘Cosmic black metal’ band De Vermis Mysteriis, and the Belgium’s ambient black metal act Morkenatten. Featuring eight tracks plus a hidden one, this being the maiden split release for both bands and of course, one that has great stagnation and shows that these two bands are best in their businesses.

Hailing from Zottegem/Denderleeuw, Belgium, De Vermis Mysteriis was formed in 2012 and has released a demo and the mentioned split of cosmic madness. Cosmic wizardry, and murky production backed with nightmarish vocals, the band has been one of the top black metal acts in my list. The De Vermis Mysteriis side of this split gives us a glimpse on cosmic horror. The lead guitar on “Cyaëgha I and II” was recorded by Frater E. The track features all you could expect from a solid black metal band while shows the band’s influence on Lovecraftian Horror; they have always been a solid black metal act.

Something that stands out is the production. Being a demo track, the song is not as murky and cacophonous as we have come to know of the De Vermis Mysteriis sound. This actually works well, and the technical guitars and vocals can be heard with more clarity. It allows the listener to perhaps appreciate the talent of these musicians a little more, and goes to show that the band can put most “Atmospheric black metal” bands to shame. While De Vermis Mysteriis is still fantastic in its own way, track “Draining the Arteries of Time “is a great way to look back and see where the band influences from. A great start to the split.

Morkenatten was formed in 2012 in Erembodegem/Denderleeuw, East Flanders, Belgium, and is also a part of Ordo Omegae Absolutae release, along with De Vermis Mysteriis. With one prior demo, the band recorded new songs for their contribution to this split. “Elixir for the Weeping” begins with a nice eerier intro before the deep screams come blasting through. The music is fast, and unrelenting. The track has the raw but atmospheric sound, and shows a band that is at the top of their game.

From the deep vocals to the riffing and blasting drums, Morkenatten continues with an old school vibe, but manage to stand out on their own. The track itself stands apart from the De Vermis Mysteriis tracks in the production stand point, being more modern and heavier. However, both bands have few similar sounds about how to go about their brand of extreme music. Morkenatten has their share of technical prowess, but seems to dial it back at times in favor of fitting the black metal sound. Nevertheless, the band is very talented, and is among the top black metal acts going today. There is also a hidden track called “The Temptation of Knowledge” an improvised tribute to Mare. Performed by the members of both of the bands (actually all of the members are mutual in both of the bands).

This is a split that came out of nowhere to me. However, given the talent involved, I knew it would be great and I was not mistaken. All tracks allow us to see why both bands are worthy of all the attention they deserve to get. Something that really stands out and it is an album that is very easy to listen to given the short run-time and excellent material at the same time. Due to the release of a limited number of copies, this will not be easy for most to find, but try to seek out these tracks if possible, as these deserve to be heard.

Written for Venustas Diabolicus Zine.

An interesting introduction - 80%

Parakelsos, October 14th, 2014

From the silent rustic towns of East-Flanders hails a group of young musicians who have become the thriving force behind the bands De Vermis Mysteriis and Morkenatten. Both bands consist of the same members, yet each band enlightens us with a different approach of black metal.  Both bands released a demo in 2014 and now they share a split release, called Ayin Harsha. 

De Vermis Mysteriis opens this split. After a short intro, gloomy riffs start dragging the listener into a dark horror universe. While the overall sound is raw, with an equally raw production, one can unearth some interesting melodies here and there. This band doesn’t rely on senseless blasting around, but takes the time to build up an atmosphere, entwined with either faster or more melodic parts. One could definitely hear hints towards the raw Finnish sound, yet the influences are notably broader than that. Here and there you’ll hear some distinct Swedish melody and finesse. Finally, the raspy (rather than traditionally shrieking) vocals are worth noting, as they add a distinct personal twist to the whole concept. They shred through the dark musical veil and complete the whole horror story. The main comment than can be made here, is that the overall sound drowns the individual elements now and then. But this is a matter of production and recording, not skill or passion, and as the band grows this will eventually become better. In the end, the fuzzy recording has a charm on its own.

At track number 5, Morkenatten takes over. The sound of rain, an acoustic guitar and some vague distorted chords could fool the listener into believing that Morkenatten will entertain us with nature-loving atmospheric black metal. Even before the first song Elixir for The Weeping is finished, we meet again with the typical raw sound we’ve heard from De Vermis Mysteriis.   

Wait, I hear you think this might this be some kind of De Vermis Mysteriis part 2? Not quite. De Vermis Mysteriis dragged you down in a violent dark maelstrom, while Morkenatten slowly creates an impenetrable vile fog. This means that Morkenatten relies even more on the creation of atmosphere than their brother band. The part of Morkenatten also features two instrumental tracks (The Stimulus of Ammonia, While the Chrysanthemums Sang). These tracks guide us towards the end of this split. The tracks of Morkenatten unfold in a slightly more interesting and creeping way, whereas De Vermis Mysteriis is more straight-forward. A different approach on dark music, same idea, different execution.

Did they reinvent sliced bread? No, but this split is certainly worth your time and your attention. Of course, there are still rough pieces and bits to be perfected, but this split is certainly a nice warmup for what a full-length might bring us. This young band certainly doesn’t lack motivation and fire. A split worth listening and a collective worth keeping an eye on, we might get some good surprises from these guys.