O Mars! God of War! Infernal battles and bestial devastation have ensued on this week’s Sadistik Metal Reviews! Unholy wars between the true and the pretenders, the golden race and the plastic one. Which shall prevail?
Our focus will be on Black metal, beyond all time and space, and mostly the kind of black metal that focuses on occultism, often without the musicians having any idea of what they are talking about. Concerning “orthodox” black metal musicians: copying lyrics from alchemical literature is the easiest way to sound clever, but still fails to transform base metal bands into gold. Why? Let’s find out!
Isvind, Perversity and Erebus Enthroned vs Aosoth and Hirilorn
Remember those lost diamonds, which nobody wanted to buy in the early 90s but now they are the new hype for edgy ‘misanthropic’ manlets with pickups? Isvind – Dark Waters Stir is one of those. Starting promisingly with a not so bad introduction, their demolishing blast beats and riffs provoke enthusiasm, but then they start mixing Enslaved/Norwegian somber folk melodies in the grinder, the songs venture further into the woods and by the time the now tiresome blastbeats return the magic is gone and Isvind is eaten by wolves. Some songs end abruptly without being developed and their ideas are a mess. A pity, since if they had spent a bit more time to work on it, this album could have been quite decent. Their lack of persistence and focus makes them an easy target for the spear of Longinus, wielded by Aosoth.
Aosoth on Ashes of Angels, have learned to persevere by staying for 3 months in the wild, like true O9A ascetics. Their assault is all powerful, their use of death metal 3rd intervals relentless, riffs are frenetic and their use of lower strings that resemble the low keys on the piano prove to the pretenders, that new paths for sonic extremity can always be found. Sonic terror reigns supreme!
Erebus Enthroned – Temple Under Hell deserves some points for their hellish atmosphere. They have a clear sense of direction on their compositions, but they are trying hard to exhibit their varied influences without being obvious. See the self-titled track for example, which steals from De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas but changes the cadence, something that could have been lame, but this song is like the Dresden Amen for devil worshippers in the end, right? Technically those musicians are quite competent, they master the use of time signatures and their vocal recitals are strong. Unfortunately, sometimes their music sounds random, like having sex and changing one’s position before the point of climax. Those guys have enough stuff to say to deflect the Spear of Longinus, and enough dignity to leave the battlefield, meditate and compress their ideas into a coherent whole. Good luck.
Perversity with Ablaze resemble a band of 16-year olds that are trying to find their own voice. No climaxes are provided but there is some skill. They march on the field of battle like an intimidating goliath, yet they have not seen enough Bruce Lee movies to understand that one must be like water in order to triumph. They try too hard and fall prey to Hirilorn’s sling.
Hirilorn, verily a one trick pony, yet quite a rabid one, features melodic solos over superior riffs and gigantic songs that exceed five minutes. The naivete and sincerity of those sick French bastards creates fantastic landscapes of a romantic nature that nevertheless is more metal in its wrath and melancholic teenage temper than all the try-hard death metallers. Fun fact: Hirilorn broke up because the members of Deathspell Omega who used to play there thought that the other guys were poseurs for playing in a metalcore band. Years later, after infusing metalcore with black metal and destroying an entire genre of music, Deathspell Omega is a laughing stoke and a thing to be surpassed as Hirilorn is pissing blood on DsO’s last albums and on all of their offspring.
Aptorian Demon vs Trey Azagthoth with an acoustic guitar in his bathroom.
Aptorian Demon is the kind of 4chan/x/ occultist who tries to summon a succubus to compensate for his lack of female touch, only to summon a fiendish shemale nymph from hell and get raped by it. The electric guitar parts of their music are effeminate and uninspired.
Their supposed merit is their acoustic interludes. Still, Morbid Angel – “Desolate Ways” is so rich in its technique and melody, that I would rather listen to its ten-hour version on youtube than listen to Aptorian Demon for the whole length of their record. They can go suck a cock.
Trey Azagthoth plays his guitar at the center of the universe. To his Sumerian rhythms we all dance, even the lame latex and hair spray gods whose spirit and soul is David Vincent.
Batushka vs the Catholic Church
Black metal is of the devil. Batushka definitely is not. Oversaturated with melody, their appropriation of church music and icons grabs the attention but after a while they are unlistenable frothy aids. Why not listen to the true Orthodox Byzantine chants? The richness of Byzantine harmony and composition is immense. Why not listen to Gregorian chants? They are hesh as fuck and probably those people have done way more war crimes than Batushka or most if not all bands on that list, even Ofermod.
Crusaders have raped your village. When a sword is unsheathed, the devil lies behind the hand that wields it. The evil church wins.
Behemoth vs Ofermod vs Dissection (Reinkaos era)
Behemoth has been sodomized plenty of times on this website. They use Morbid Angel inspired oriental riffs, often with a touch of Nile and metalcore. On Ofermod, they find their daddy, since Ofermod pretend to write ‘antikosmik’ black metal but with the cosmic (secular in Greek) attitude of rock structures, an oxymoron perfectly personified in the musical sugar snap peas that were The Devil’s Blood. Listen to the riffs on “Sisters of Rapture and Pestilence” and “Prayers to Wrapped Eternities”. This guy knows how to write great riffs. A pity he can’t write great songs.
Both are stampeded by the bulldozer that is Reinkaos. Dissection embraces totally their vision of heavy metal and reject all else. They are true to themselves and have an artistic orama, which is not a business model and they have talent for musicianship, not merely execution, something that Ofermod lacks.
Acherontas vs Nightbringer
I would like to listen to pure ritual music from Acherontas, without guitars, something for meditation, in the vein of the interludes from Averse Sefira. “Om Krim Kali” features a beautiful introduction, reminiscent of Karl Sanders’ work and it shows a serious band that evokes true feelings of death by tuning and detuning the oriental instruments. Their ceremonial attitudes are rather impressive, as well as their knowledge of the mysteries. The influences from Dissection and Mayhem on Vamachara make a powerful result at places (songs like “Hermeticism” from the previous EP sound truly evil and desolate and travel far beyond where they should have gone, stimulating the dark part of our imagination) but are boring and navel-gazing at others (“Abraxas”).
On their newer material their riffs lack imagination and the ‘theatrics’ are often cringey. The heavy metal melodies lack originality. I have tried for years to understand their more recent music; sadly, all their occult garments hide a body of nothingness and for all their qliphotic knowledge they could have been writing books. They have some interesting songs here and there, but nothing more than rather spectacular apocryphal aesthetics, and all that because they like to drone over the same average power riffs for ages.
Nightbringer appears on the field of battle but gets punched in the face by accident by Acherontas.
Akrotheism vs Nightbringer vs Katharsis
Akrotheism are a promising vertigo of riffs and ideas but they tend to overindulge, not use romantic elements as much as it would fit them (and I humbly believe the direction they follow demands them to do so), the riffs do not have anything to convey apart from emptiness and it all becomes about dark aesthetics once more. It’s a pity because they are more talented riff-writers and song-writers than most of the bands you see on youtube those days. It’s just the lack of life, of violence that has characterized modern black metal bands. They share the occult and astral spirit of Acherontas and the modernist elements of Ulcerate but without the neurotic persistence to play the same chords over and over or to rely on any dissonant noise at all. They also share the high-pitched tremolo picking of Nightbringer, but sadly carry over their ‘mystic’ attitude to make everything wallpaper music. Yet again on Manifesting Tartarus they show that they know how to write songs. They have shortcomings, but they also have imagination and a will to convey and communicate, this might serve them in the end.
Nightbringer on the other hand, should be paid attention to only for their covers – as most orthodox black metal. Loathsomely boring. Nightbringer rises again after Acherontas’ accidental punch, only to be crushed by Akrotheism, a band that eats a lot of donuts to excrete the melodic parts of their record. They are indeed quite heavy at parts.
Yet the now lying Akrotheism should receive the spit of Katharsis in their mouths, in the way pupils of oriental gurus do before their masters. Although their styles are miles apart, if they coherently mix ideas from the great beasts of the past they will find a voice of their own which will be more effective than the one they have now.
See the purpose in their songs. The contrast, the modulations, the mania, the use of silence.
Katharsis annihilate all previous weaklings. Katharsis is the symbol of the inverted cross: a cross whose horizontal line symbolizes the sheer beauty of religious hallucination and fantasy and the vertical line which symbolizes their phallus that subordinates otherworldly beliefs to its own and rises to fuck the sky and master the Earth. For nothing else exists apart from what nature reveals and shall reveal in the fated hour of reprisal! The gods those weaklings believe in get crucified on this cross. So Nail the Hearts!
SURPRISE! SONG ANALYSIS! KATHARSIS – SO NAIL THE HEARTS
Gritty production values, passionate demonic vocals, possessed evil unfolds from the speakers, annihilating everything in its path from the anus to the crown chakra!
A torrent of noise introduces the song, which lands on a berserk mix of tremolo picked half-step interval single notes and power chords centered on F5-F#5. The drums accentuate this with a small pause, the eye opening at the center of the heart. Then the charge begins with a transposition, half-step down and up, a small dialogue, two serpentine forces colliding against each other, cancelling each other, breaking the chains that hold the chromatic mercury trapped beneath the listeners’ Saturnian expectation of heavy metal instant gratification.
The beloved diminished 5th on the ΙΙ5 manages to be emotionally touching and melodic, as well as natural sounding by conforming to the phrygian mode, yet it is followed by a tritone on the III5 which rapes everything, squeezing life out of the lungs of the initiate. Witness, how dissonance complements traditional harmony and disharmony does not become a goal in itself.
The tritone in its lust, is starving for resolution, it is pure masculine energy, it is like the sperm that longs for the menstruum of the Whore, to generate the Divine and Conquering Child of the New Aeon which is the last riff of the song, in the schema of this composition:
A pause is used to build momentum. The previous riff matures in the more fixed form of the tremolo picked notes becoming solid power chords. Then death metal on the sixth string serves not to bridge the next riff with I but to be its shadow, a small argument that validates it. The next riff (Ο) is cyclical. Its final notes find resolution in its beginning. It is like the Egg, the entirety of the World and it is female in its melodic 3rd intervals. However, the tritones exist within it, like dross, confusion, accidentals that need to be cleansed before the gold can shine in its perfect fifths.
But in its last throes, the Egg O is fertilized by the Eb5-F5 power chords riff I, giving rise to Φ, which for lack of a cooler Unicode pack, will symbolize gold.
We are still on the same tonal center. But different power chords will now appear to keep things interesting, such as G5. Yet, our gold is impure because of G5, in the same way that our lives become meaningful due to Sin, but they remain impure because of it. To transfigure the impure gold we need fire, like the athlete that wants willpower to achieve his goal. And what a fiery riff the next one (Λ) is! It dissolves the metal (riff) that contains the gold into many power chords. In its dissolution, the tonal center becomes disoriented and vague in the chaos. The few sliding chords F#-G that make a brief appearance, bounce to give variety in rhythm, the sense of the drums getting fatigued but still trying to be relentless to accomplish their final goal and the space to headbang in this 7-minute blastbeat marathon.
The song repeats itself and ends with the anointing repetition of Eb5 which is calling for the final part of the liturgy. The final riff appears as ω, slow and dominating. Attention is called to the G5 impurity as the fiery riff appears again to establish coherence, resembling so much the final riff, making the song sound so complex when it’s not, like Alchemistische Decknamen makes alchemical manuscripts indecipherable, when the purpose of the Art is clear.
The song repeats itself with the unresolved male riff rising, out of control, overcoming all. We could say that the end would be relief from the sorrows of existence and the phrygian mode, like Watain’s Malfeitor’s melodic and beautiful ending. But no. It indulges in the dark scales that are metal and have been since ancient Greece. Small solos from afar – solos which are low in the mix are cvlt – and eerie chants send the listener to the stratosphere. The final riff now Ω is cleared of all its dross, it is perfect in itself, it entered with woe, with mirth, but now it goes forth and with thanksgiving, to do its pleasure on the earth among the legions of the living.
This last riff Ω lasts for what seems like forever, its gradual ascension in pitch reflects the initiate firm in a sea of madness, ascending into an ever-ending trance that crowns the song with thorns; world without end, timeless.
‘In this process, the greatest difficulty consists in the consciousness’, the spirit’s, or the Self’s descent into the heart (…) Ritually speaking, once the spirit has been established in the heart (which appears as an igneous mass), waves and bright flashes surface in the consciousness, beyond the boundaries of darkness, as symbols and mediums of the formless passive life. In the heart the spirit creates a small flame, turning its essence into the latter’s essence. Let the flame burn by itself, without any other support than its own wonderful power – a light shining in the red cavity of the heart.
This is a timeless moment.
Let it burn and consume beyond the limits of heart, expanding until it pervades the entire bodily nature, dissolving it into itself.’ ~ Luce, Introduction to Magic by J. Evola & the UR group
Dodsengel vs Necromantia
No battle would ever be complete without the showdown between two mages.
Dodsengel are an overly ambitious blackened opera for thelemic drama. Their philosophy of ‘do what thou wilt’ aids them to be divergent and therefore more interesting. Extremely unorthodox orthodox black metal, they carry the grandeur of Celtic Frost in “Prince of Ashes”. If they knew how to use modulation and listened to more classical they have all they need to be great. On Interequinox they exhibit such traits but in a green dragon fashion of immaturity (see Deo in Exelsis). At the end the vocals are out of control in relation to Imperator, and the shrieks seem annoying in plenty of parts. It seems the band desires to go crazy, but social pretense to conform to genre surface tropes holds them back. Guys, screw black metal, you don’t get it, just go full avant-garde already.
Necromantia shows how it’s done. Throughout their discography they never followed anything but their own True Will. And when their Will took them to another direction, they formed their own renaissance and medieval swordmanship and martial arts school and now they indulge in the indoeuropean spirit of vir which they have always personified. Respect. Necromantia tears to shreds with its claws all of the above.
Funerary Call vs Beherit
Leaving our fantasy teenage angst world of metal behind, we face the reality of the kingdom of the funderground: disappointed with electric guitar music, many have endeavored to explore the sounds of keyboards, to uncover the true spirit of darkness. Funerary Call are such a band. They pretend to be ritualistic but they are boring. Their music is like meditating after eating a lot of burgers – the wet element predominates and you soon understand that no trance is going to happen, you just waste your afternoon watching the little flies in your eyes – yet you produce some funny sounds throughout. All because if you can’t change your life by yourself and resort to ‘vvitchcraft’, you sure can’t be expected to change your life to align with the demands of the Great Work, right? Then, one day you understand that you are a poseur, an armchair occultist that needs to put the hocus-pocus at bay and put his record collection on ebay, lose some pounds and find a traditionalist trap girlfriend.
And then you wander what the hell is wrong with the magazines that taught you music when you were young when they say that Funerary Call is better than Beherit.
Weltering in a hell of their own blood, the feeble ones scream in the abyss: ‘We kissed the anus of the goat! We signed our name in blood! Why does our music fail?’
Because iron is the prerequisite for the great work. Iron is the material swords are made of and it is normalized, hardened, quenched and tempered in FIRE. Iron in alchemy is the perseverance of the unclean will and fire its most important element. This is why Christian monasteries are superior to those feeble faggots. This is why the mindset of bodybuilders, the mindset to never yield to iron, to use the words of Mishima ‘to become Iron’ is superior than the mindset that stitches random riffs around and call it “art”. Those weak bands didn’t have the Will to persevere. The Will to Dare. To Know.
To stay Silent.
RAPE THE TRANNIES. RACE WAR NOW.