Finland boasts some of the most vitriolic and barbaric black metal acts to have ever graced this corrupted planet, so knowing this band was Finnish filled me with salivating maniacal glee. The band members consist of the duo Caenum (all instruments and vocals) and Dominus Oppressio (vocals) who both reside in another Finnish act called Sacrificium Carmen which is also active.
A ghostly intro starts the album, backed up by spoken words and an ominous aura before the title track blasts into life abruptly, accompanied by a prolonged vocal snarl. Typically the band has gone for an ascetic and bleak production though not quite in the realms of minimalist lo-fi, preferring to have a bass component that is audible and intrinsic to the song writing. Parts of the title track have folk or pagan like character especially when the pace drops into a bereft riff temporarily. That bereft approach continues into “Viam Tenebrarum” before it is obliterated by the blasting, as structurally this album harks back to a time when black metal unstained by other subgenres which isn’t a criticism of the sub genres of the black metal scene, just purely an observation.
“Reveries” stands out for me with its driving, soulful and extremely melodic riff that reminded me of certain aspects of another Finnish act Thy Serpent due to its epic flavour. The shifts in pace create changes in mood and the riff break just over half way in is superb and followed by an escalation in pace and aggression that I personally adore within black metal generally. An interlude precedes “The Carrion” which blasts off immediately and here you can feel the bass playing pulsing through the song like a malevolent black heart with the macabre vocals implanting into the song with malicious resolve. The song has that right balance between ferocity and melodiousness, retaining power and momentum making the sudden switch in riff work brilliantly with its crafted catchy guile.
The album ends with the deeply entrenched and harrowing “Worthless” which has a grief-stricken riff and harsh vocal lamentations kept within a funereal like tempo. Like the other songs on the album the adjustment in pace is smoothly transitioned as a tuneful guitar is heard hovering above the body of the song. I do think some work needs to go into the lead breaks which occasionally that sound a little forced and uncomfortable within the fabric of the song but it is minor point. As the closing song evolves an awesome bass hook punches into the finale of the song with majestic ease, and when you get those ghoulish ghastly vocal emanations the end result is outstanding on this song and the album overall.
(8/10 Martin Harris)