Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Reverorum ib Malacht - What Do You Think of the Old God, We Call Him Judas?

1. Pt. I What Do You Think of the Old God, We Call Him Judas?
In five parts an exegis of the prophets, Messiah and the Crucifixion (17:23)
2. Pt. II ...And Bathe In Cold Holy Water
A four piece meditation on the Divine Presence and the Mysteries of Darkness and Death (20:40)

This is quite easily the most haunting record these ears have heard in quite some time, if not ever... making Reverorum ib Malacht the finest Swedish black metal crewe. Based in Falun, Sweden, the band has released two demos, this particular example in 2005. A number of things struck me prior to listening. First, the cover's depiction of a seated man conjuring spirits in a blasphemous, arcane ritual. Second, the titles of the side-length songs and the record (released on cassette, naturally) itself are lengthy to the point of absurdity, yet were enigmatic enough to make me want to grab this.

Musically, this record is an audiophile's worst nightmare, in more ways than one. Every single component is enveloped in a thick wool blanket of tape hiss. The bass, if any, is completely inaudible, as per usual. The drums seem to be the only instrument finding it's way to the forefront with any sort of clarity... and this is just the raw black metal passages, which remind of early Emperor. The rest of the record is composed of dark ambient pieces, haunting atmosphere and taloned stabs of noise making their presence known through the classical Christian music. Thousand piece choirs trapped at the bottom of a mineshaft, pipe organs powered by God himself, biblical references littered throughout the artwork and liner notes, all contribute to some of the most informed blasphemy of the last century. Know your enemy.



Thursday, February 7, 2008

Bolt Thrower - War Master

1. Intro... Unleashed (Upon Mankind)
2. What Dwells Within
3. The Shreds of Sanity
4. Profane Creation

5. Destructive Infinity
6. Final Revelation
7. Cenotaph
8. War Master
9. Rebirth of Humanity
10. Afterlife

Servings have been spartan in recent times at the .demilich monolith.. So here are the meat and potatoes. Death metal concerned with war, violence and general face shredding are Bolt Thrower's forte, so why not indulge? Since nobody can write a mid-tempo death riff as crushing as the Games Workshop-approved duo of Barry Thompson and Gavin Ward, War Master advances with the sobriety of a Panzer battalion.

Bolt Thrower were never the most brutal, technically proficient (in an overtly masturbatory way), or the fastest band, but I think that's what endears them to me. Bludgeoning riff follows bludgeoning riff. Repeat. Add Karl Willets and you've got an ace BT record. In fact, one of the best. But that's the thing with Bolt Thrower. You know exactly what you're going to get. They are the Motorhead of death metal. You know there will be no surprises, no speed-ambient/doom-folk numbers to throw you out of your groove of pure war metal enjoyment.

Oh, and fucking "Cenotaph".