Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2021
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Fantastic and unrecognized band here - 83%

Noktorn, January 29th, 2011

Magister Dixit is a band I've always seen as unfairly overlooked by the metal scene at large. For nearly a decade and a half now they've been plugging away with fantastic melodic black metal albums with little recognition outside of their Quebecois homes. I heard their third album back in '07, and recently picked up the rest of their discography to whet the appetite that one had given me. I'm happy to say that the rest of Magister Dixit's discography is just as good as their latest release, and this, their debut, is an especially striking and nuanced album for a band only three years old at the time. It's certainly less aggressive and brutal than the subsequent two releases, but it's just as fantastic as any of them.

Magister Dixit plays a melodic, fantastical style of black metal- less about satan, more about magic and elves and shit. It actually bleeds into the music hugely- all of these songs could be a soundtrack to an '80s fantasy novel without trouble. Relying on a bed of fast, intricate and melodic tremolo riffing, Magister Dixit's music tends to be complex and narrative- riffs rarely repeat, and the tracks themselves tend to go through all sorts of transformations throughout their running time. The primary influence for this release appears to be early Nokturnal Mortum, like a faster, more riff-centric version of 'Goat Horns'. But where Nokturnal Mortum tended to rely heavily on their synths to communicate the melody, this album holds a constantly dueling pair of guitar and synthlines that weave swiftly around each other- the chiming, starry synth tones are very much in the vein of Nokturnal Mortum, but their implementation is certainly not.

One of the most distinct parts of Magister Dixit's music has for me always been their ability to make chaotic, constantly shifting compositions that are still pretty easy to follow and always melodically consonant within themselves. While some of the rhythm and riff changes are daring and tricky, the result is something that feels less like being thrown into a wheat thresher like Internal Suffering and more like an exhilarating rollercoaster ride. This album's pacing is just fantastic, breaking up the almost exclusively speedy, tremolo-heavy black metal with more contemplative, folky acoustic guitar passages, and the songs themselves tend to have a lot of breathing room and musical space to them- you never really get overwhelmed by this music. In most cases I would say that's a flaw, but in this album's case, the smoothness of the listening experience is a great point to its advantage.

I know there have to be more people out there than me who love this fast, riffy style of melodic black metal- but where are they? Magister Dixit has always been handicapped by sub-par distribution, but more people need to investigate this project and its music. If you enjoy bands like Spite Extreme Wing, the Slavic black metal scene, or even some melodic death metal, this is an almost guaranteed winner.