With band members such as N. Sadist, J. Malice and M. Feral, originality doesn’t promise to be on the agenda here. This is the third album from the Swedish black metallers.
I spent a lot of time working out who Patronymicon sound like. There’s a bit of Marduk and Dark Funeral, I suppose, but it’s creepier and with more melodic riffage, which makes it creepier still. Clouds darken for sure on “The Funeral of a Passive God”. It’s all very intense but as I listened to “XI Kings XI” it all seemed to be a case of going through various forms of satanic motions for their own pleasure. Now I know it’s supposed to be nasty, and indeed it is, but didn’t I listen to this at some times in the early 00s? The vocals add to the atmosphere of chaos and suffering, and a moment of relief came at the end of “Lightless Flames” as the tempo slows to a murderous level with suitable croaks to match. Similar deathly tones spew forth from “Womb of Rejection” but if we’re talking about black metal ugliness, nothing beats Dark Fortress for me. Strangely the latter part of “Womb of Rejection” has an element of old Opeth, before the return to deathly utterances. “From the Depths of Damnation” is like a call to arms and march into war, but for me it fails to reach the epic heights as it threatened to do. The peal of the bells was entirely predictable, as frankly is most of this album. The latter part does lift us into the world of fire to be fair, as the violent march continues. “A Star that Shineth Not” reinjects brutal creepiness without adding anything to the constantly burning fire. And so to “Death Itself”. I can’t say I was dying a death listening to this, as this album clearly sets out its purpose and delivers it. The drawn-out riff stimulates an atmosphere but it’s grey and somewhat uniform one. There was a momentary eastern style section, which was interesting, and in spite of heightened intensity, the album ends in the bland tone which for me made it so unremarkable.
Does it matter that I don’t find this original? Probably not, but “Ushered Forth by Cloven Tongue” failed to stir my inner juices because of it.
(5/10 Andrew Doherty)