This album has one of those titles that I look at and think “load of old cobblers.” I mean some bands do really pile on the mystical pseudo claptrap don’t they? I want to be able to listen to music without having to spend 20 years studying ancient texts and looking for illumination and having to interpret doctrines and lyrical aspects that “have been guided by inner impulses that not many were able to comprehend.” There are many a band adopting the Inferno moniker and personally I remember the straight up Norwegian black thrashers who put out a couple of gnarly albums on Osmose in the late 90’s. This is not them though and in fact a very long running cult from the Czech Republic who have been around since 96 and have released 7 studio albums and absolutely stacks of splits, compilations, live albums and EP’s. I vaguely remember the last preposterously entitled ‘Omniabsence Filled by His Greatness’ but think this is the first time I have tried to actually dissect them musically and it has to be said it’s not the easiest of tasks.
Given everything in front of me I was rather expecting some eccentric but largely orthodox form of black metal here but that’s not exactly what I found as the band unleash their very mystic side. There are 5 lengthy numbers here and a shorter one acting as more of an outro and ‘The Innermost Disillusion’ kicks things off in a very odd way indeed. Keyboards are strident above a pitter-pattering drum beat and have a real arcane sort of vibe to them, trumpeting almost like something off Killing Joke’s Brighter Than A Thousand Suns or some sort of obscure Coil recording. They give way to ceremonial sounding vocals and one clearly gets the image of the band performing live in cloaks and calling what they are doing a ritual. It’s a tad baffling on first few listens and quite dense and cluttered in approach. It does gradually make some sort of sense after repeated plays although and as I have already been informed I am probably not going to be one of the few who can successfully “comprehend” any innermost narrative. Interesting though this certainly is as it drops into a brief ambient spell and loosens up in a progressive way with more focus on individual instruments and whispered vocals. Adramelech shows plenty of diversification in his vocal stance and has plenty of different personalities to the sound which is by now in noodling avant-garde territory. Apparently “the voice of Acherontas main man Acherontas V. Priest contributed to the fractal vision of the new album,” whatever the… that means too.
Things continue in a strange and somewhat allusive quest and you never know quite what you are going to get next from songs with titles such as ‘Ω ≻ 1 (Oscillation in Timelessness)’. If put on the spot I would describe this as having the aura of gothic black metal more than anything else but when I say that I am thinking of the top echelon within the goth scene, the oddballs and the experimenters (and the quasi mystic ones themselves) such as the aforementioned Joke and Nephilim. The underlying guitar textures definitely give that impression although the drive of the drumming which does get a bit annoying at times often gives things more of a fraught pace and urgency.
If you like oddly structured and non-conventional music this definitely hits the mark, however I just can’t help finding it all a tad pretentious. Those in the Czech Republic have a tried and tested history of doing things in odd ways, look at the likes of Root and Master’s Hammer and one cannot help think of Killing Joke going somewhat loony tunes themselves in Prague leading to the creation of ‘Hosannas From The Basements Of Hell.’ Perhaps if I play this when tides, planets and seismic conditions are right on a certain hidden ley line whilst bathed in a virgin goat’s blood I may reach the transcendence this album is alluding to. Otherwise I could just say screw it and maybe play it when I fancy something truly odd.
(7/10 Pete Woods)