Recently I have found myself divulging more in reading, albeit non-fiction, however I have been investigating fictional books to digest. One of my top must read tomes is H.P. Lovecraft’s complete Cthulhu Mythos, the combined works of the master of the bizarre, occult and mystical. These stories have inspired Metal artists for many years, the deep lore and nigh on Satanic themes make for perfect musical imagery, allowing the listener to dive into the murky waters of the dead, becoming enveloped in spectral magick.

Somewhere in France a warlock of unholy might under the name Asthâghul lurks preparing his blackened incantation. His first space time bending spell, Mystic Echo From A Funeral Dimension left many devote cultists hungry for more. The time has come for the next sacrifice the ever digestible scroll of text known as Pandaemorthium (Forbidden Formulas To Awaken The Blind Sovereigns Of Nothingness). This sophomore effort from this one man project is brought into existence via I, Voidhanger Records, purveyors of the sick, twisted and odd.

As the flames of the ritual torches are held aloft the demonic forces of the black light protrude from a gaping maw of cosmic warfare and thus Esoctrilihum provide the soundtrack. The span of influences leads to a Black Metal centered genre defying album, the introductory track (Open the Gate Of Unknown Path To) The Metamorphosis Descent on first listen is thought to be a one off as the array of experimental and creepy tones create an unnerving Avant-Garde edge. Yet this is not the case this passion of the macabrely obscure drives forward with each track representing a spell binding evocation.

The mass of vocal formations ranging from the dissonant tones in Nocturle Ars Fh’a to the aggressive nigh on Bestial Black Metal notes of The Holocaust Of Fire In The Temple Of The Red Oracle are only a glimpse of the mystical variation. When all of this is combined with Symphonic passages akin to a matured and dusty Bal-Sagoth there is a recipe for epic monumental Black Metal. I cannot stress enough the deep songwriting, Pandaemorthium is like a never ending journey that just keeps bringing more twisted memories. Everything from the exceptional hard-hitting riffs to the violent rumbling bass and machine gun drumming is done to perfection, there are no worries of this spell going wrong.

If Esoctrilihum don’t hit the heights of underground Black Metal this year I will be shocked. The band deliver every promise without you having to ask, Lovercraftian, cosmic, mystical and other worldly. Picture a cobweb infested coffin floating through a demonic void in space spewing a galactic carpet of stars from its innards and you’ve got a pictorial descriptor of the audible destruction which Pandaemorthium has to offer

(8/10 George Caley)