Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2023
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Privacy Policy

Monte Penumbra > The Black Realm Vigil > Reviews
Monte Penumbra - The Black Realm Vigil

Almost perfect - 98%

coffinfodder666, July 17th, 2018
Written based on this version: 2016, CD, Altare Productions (Limited edition)

Monte Penumbra is a Portuguese doom/avant-garde black metal band comprised of two members. The band, to this date, has released two splits, a full-length and an EP. The release being reviewed is none other than the band's latest offering "The Black Realm Vigil", a 3 track EP that spans a little over 20 minutes.

With lyrical themes covering everything from occultism to mortality, one would expect their music to be slow, dark and very broody. The band doesn't fail to deliver the last two, but they do struggle a bit in keeping their music slow-paced. Which, to be honest, isn't a bad thing at all.

The band stays true to their promise of an occult sound with some really strange break-downs and hooks. They have also mastered the art of surprising their listeners with abrupt tempo changes that make listening to this EP a rewarding experience. Production-wise, the EP is heavily distorted and works well to bring out a doom-laden, sludge-filled atmosphere that's ideal for a band like this.

In terms of instrumentation, I would say the guitar playing stands out the most and at times is reminiscent of Occult rockers, Aluk Todolo. The guitar work shows superior technical prowess, the riff structures are well thought of and quite adept. The drumming is intense and purposeful. You wouldn't get an onslaught of blast beats, you will, however, get abstract, jazz-influenced beats that are delivered masterfully with the occasional blast beat.

The vocals, although heavily distorted, sounds raspy, ominous and one with the music. The soundscapes employed add to the overall gloom created by the band, and to be honest it all comes together rather elegantly.

You often find bands that get too carried away with the technicalities or you get bands that manage to create the right atmosphere whilst showing no technical capabilities at all. No many hit the sweet spot and manage to retain the attention of the listener throughout. Monte Penumbra, in my opinion, is one of the few bands that have managed to find the golden ratio.

If you've ever wondered what you should play in the background while you get dragged into the depths of hell, this EP would be it. The Black Realm Vigil might not appeal to black metal purists, but if you've got an open mind, you are very likely to enjoy this.