Following up last year’s debut album …Of Serpentine Forces, German occultists Illum Adora reconvene under the sign of the Baphomet once more with this 5 track EP release. This is second wave era black metal with a solid stench of nostalgia riding through it. Led by Zarathustra’s delightfully monikered Hurricane Hellfukker and assorted ghouls from acts such as Black Command and Morte Noire this is a respectful nod to tradition and the old gods with suitable production to match.
The title track ushers us in with the sound of wind and gentle acoustic fretwork before some rugged drumming and a gnarly croaks bring the main substance into play. It’s melodic and slow at start with the vocals taking a bit of getting used to due to both their predominance in the mix and the very gravid and rasping delivery. Some choral work joins in from the background and the mid-paced plod matches the mood and emotions of the piece well and with the chanting it gives it all a contemplative mood. A sudden fade out leads quickly into ‘Oscurità Medievale’ and the pace is upped with fast and burgeoning rhythm. The faint sound of keyboards is welcome giving atmosphere and the real feel in the memory of the once emerging 2nd wave of bands that forged these sounds. I am now used to the vocals and they sound like an evil goblin cursing someone and causing them to burst into warts and boils. Carrying on at full pelt with ‘Master Of Contempt’ its primitive and bursting with riffs adding a thrashy tempest and storm as the vocalist shrieks, bellows and suddenly goes all beastly and possessed on us. There’s plenty to bang head along to until they suddenly stop on a note again and rapidly fade into more acoustic work and ‘Heroine des Grauens.’ Once this is dispensed with Elizabeth Bathory gets another ode to her bloodthirsty ways with sharp and tight riffwork and the “Wrath of Satan’s whore” being neatly conjured up from the grave. Finishing off the EP we get a lively cover in the form of an ancient and aged Behemoth classic ‘Blackvisions of the Almighty,’ the grooves and melody of which should be immediately recognisable to those who worshiped the Poles in the olden days.
All in all, a certain amount of roughness, can’t say I’m a fan of the sudden fade outs of a couple of tracks but it is one way of keeping things compact and honing songs to not outstay their welcome I guess. However, the charm and enthusiasm of the EP win over and make it a good solid listening experience with plenty to build on in the future.
(6.5/10 Pete Woods)