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Maelstrom - 92%

Felix 1666, May 12th, 2017

Black metal is a narrow-minded sub genre, no doubt about it. All you need is an insane lead vocalist who screams like a pig in the slaughterhouse, an unleashed instrumental section and song titles like "Satan Kills God". A foolish summary? Indeed! Black metal is so much more, it can be the shortest synonym for the fascinating experience of a high musical level which combines gloomy atmosphere and imperious harshness with the effect that a malicious maelstrom opens up and attempts to draw the listener into the deepest depth. Of course, Mayhem's "De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas" will be the eternal benchmark, the "Reign in Blood" of the sub genre. But other bands are competent as well. Deus Mortem's first album mirrors the spirituality of the darkest genre every second.

"Receiving the Impurity of Jeh" has already been released on the single "Darknessence". I am talking about a fanatically raging song, but this partly blast beats driven track does not represent all strenghts of the gatefold vinyl. It is the shortest cut and the most vehement at the same time, although it houses a brief majestic melody as well. I do not really understand the complete breakdown at 3:20, but it does not take long until the band accelerates the tempo again and reaches an insane velocity. A fantastic number and anything else but a foreign body on the album, nevertheless, it does not show all characteristics of the group's admirable compositional approach. For example, the opener begins with some morbid guitar tones that create an uncomfortable feeling right from the start. I mention this because this feeling becomes a constant companion during the entire work. The musicians know the content of the whole toolbox and therefore they feel free to connect rather simple - yet expressive - guitar lines with pretty complicated structures. They do not aspire to create the most unorthodox black metal album, but they also despise conventional song patterns. This balancing act works very well with the effect that new demonic creatures are waiting for the listener after each and every break.

Thankfully, the author of the first review has explained that the four musicians of Deus Mortem have already acquired a lot of experience. This can be seen in the mature yet furious compositions. Maybe this is a general feature that separates black metal from thrash, quite apart from their musical differences. Many thrash bands reveal solid technical skills already on their debut, but as they get more and more mature, they lose their ferocity slowly but steadily. In contrast, black metal musicians get out of their caves, forests or children's rooms at a very early stage. Some of them create rather amateurish sounds at the beginning, but usually they are able to improve their capabilities without losing the spirit of their sub genre. With that said, Deus Mortem's brilliance is not surprising. "Ceremony of Reversion p.1", the longest track, shows sustainably that the Polish rogues have no problem to combine complexity and coherence in a very strong manner. Not to mention their fine sense for the appropriate amount of sinister, sometimes meditative melodies. By the way, the sombre musical offering is promoted by the dark and minimally blurred mix. This is not a perfect production and it lacks a bit of directness. Yet stay calm, the technical implementation does not hurt the grandness of the musical content in a noticeable manner.

The carpet-bombing of "It Starts to Breathe Inside" is heading for destruction and the same applies for "The Harvest" or "The Shining", quite regardless of a short break with some desperate screams (greetings to Silencer) and the conciliatory guitar at the end. In short: all songs hit the bull's eye. The promising horde from East Europe has penned an album with an abysmal atmosphere, but this aura is rather a kind of side effect. Deus Mortem follow another strategy. The focus is set on the devastating brutality of the compositions, their precision, their manifoldness and the almost choleric belligerence of the group characterises the apocalyptic full-length. The black light emanates its force as well as its fascination and therefore a very good rating is necessary. Believe me, the fact that narrow-minded people like me enjoy black metal does not indicate that the genre itself is narrow-minded, too.

Emanations of the Black Light - 85%

dismember_marcin, March 13th, 2013

This project has been bringing the attention like the light atracts moths, ever since the news about it has been spread around the Polish underground. All in all Deus Mortem has been formed by Necrosodom (deathyells, plague of rats and necropulse), who must be known to all of you from such killer acts as Anima Damnata, Thunderbolt (cult!), Mord, Throneum and most recently from his excellent participation on “Blasphemer’s Malediction” LP of Azarath (Recommended!!!). He’s been joined by another interesting and well known persona, Mr.(mother-fuckin-blast-master) Inferno – rotten coffins and old spirits – who’s been playing the drums of death with Behemoth for the past 15 years or more, and also plays (or played) in Damnation, Witchmaster, Azarath… With such a killer line up, composed by two strong individuals, Deus Mortem was destined to catch the attention right from the day if its spawn. And it certainly did, as quickly Witching Hour released their debut EP “Darknessence”, which contained two tracks, one of which was a Sigh cover. The band has even played some gigs, what was a killer experience, especially to see Inferno playing guitar (he was able to sacrifice his time not only to Azarath, but also to Deus Mortem, as Behemoth – due to Nergal’s sickness - was inactive at that time), instead of the drums; it surely was something new (the drums has been taken over by Stormblast from Infernal War). But I just didn’t have a clue that Deus Mortem was ready also to release their first album... and so they did, in February 2013, releasing it by themselves (what surprised me a little), giving it for distribution to Witching Hour and Malignant Voices. Obviously the purchase of this CD was undisputed, I wanted “Emanations of the Black Light” ever since I found out about it… and finally I got it few days after the premiere. Well, the album (dedicated to Trondr Nefas of Urgehal) catches the attention first and foremost with its dark and eerie layout… I definitely like it a lot; its black colouring, mixed with the grey… great font used for all the texts, some really killer Deus Mortem photos… that sort of layout and graphics fits the music perfectly, creating a sinister and evil atmosphere right from the start, complementing the sounds just as it should be.

And the sounds are black metal, if you wanted to ask. Actually I must say that before I even heard any music from Deus Mortem I thought it will be more like an obscure, old school death metal project, I don’t even know why, but obviously I was completely wrong and that also shouldn’t be a surprise, considering what other bands Necrosodom (who’s been responsible for writing the music on “Emanations of the Black Light”) plays with. Yeah, the music on this CD is fuckin obscure, evil, nasty, mayhemic black metal… but not primitive and dull, not ridiculously simple or pathetic, but strong and powerful. Actually when I listen to “Emanations of the Black Light” I have a resemblance to a couple for other Polish black metal bands – Thunderbolt and Infernal War, at least speaking of some riffs or motifs, as generally especially Infernal War is way, way faster than Deus Mortem, but still a small resemblance is present definitely. Besides, I have a feeling like along with the pure, furiously fast black metal, which often fills up the “Emanations of the Black Light” the band takes quite a strong influence from the old school thrash and death metal as well, going as deep as to the 1980’s in the search of anything what’s disgusting, necro and brutal. I must say that I’m glad that the band didn’t opt for the minimalistic and primitive ways of the sound destruction, but their music is actually more complex, with plenty of variety within the style of riffing – starting with those old school metal riffs, through utterly fast devastation and finishing with quite few melodic parts spread all over the album – and obviously using miscellaneous tempos and patterns. Don’t be surprised then, if one minute you’ll get smashed by the wall of brutal and fast black metal riffing (“Receiving the Impurity of Jeh” – pure Darkthrone / Zyklon B worship, but with strong personal touch and some more harmonic hints here and there) and next you’ll hear almost melancholic and sorrowful atmospheric part with painful and possessed vocals, which will almost remind you Furia or FDS (in “Ceremony of Reversion pt 1”). And everything has been played in pure metal way – guitars, bass, drums and raw, shrieking vocal / howling of N., with no keyboards or useless intros (only once there’s clean guitar tone used in the finishing part of “The Shining”), what only strengthens the impression of the obscurity, rawness and aggression of the album. All in all I cannot say that Deus Mortem has recorded the most innovative or inspiring black metal album ever - I would actually never expect it from them - but certainly they did an awesome and very well listenable piece of horrid, bestial and morbid music, which I have very enjoyed to listen to and will surely back to very frequently. So, I recommend you getting this piece of abominable desecration – it is a fuckin’ bulldozer.