Metal Review – Deus Ignotus: Procession of an Old Religion

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Metal Review – Deus Ignotus: Procession of an Old Religion
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Deus Ignotus: Procession of an Old Religion
Black Metal
Forever Plagued Records
June 2nd, 2014
Release length: 16:29
Myspace
While it isn’t necessarily a new movement, Greece’s Black Metal world is a force that has really made a name for itself lately, which has put plenty of underground labels and distributors that specialize in that genre on high alert. This is where we find ourselves when talking about the duo known as Deus Ignotus. Helmed by drummer Xolferoth and bassist, guitarist and vocalist Reshep, the project came to life in 2007, spawning a steady growing amount of releases in the years since. The Worship the Fall of Man 2008 demo was followed by another in 2009 titled Slavery of the Cosmic Knowledge before issuing the Reflexions on Nothingness split with Abnorm through De Umbris Productions. Two years later and they were picked up by Forgotten Wisdom Productions to issue 2012’s Chrismation, a recording considered a full-length despite being just ender twenty-seven minutes long. It’s now 2014 and we are given a brand new five-track EP titled Procession of an Old Religion, this time through Forever Plagued Records. But does this recording compliment their previous effort well enough to make you ready for the possibility of an eventual follow-up, or is it simply stale and unimpressive?

Procession of an Old Religion definitely shows off the group’s heavy blast beat fuelled Black Metal once again after the creepy, rather loud analog recording of a passage being read from the bible that slowly becomes distorted to sound otherwordly as a church organ plays an equally eerie psalm. “Dogmtheist” starts with a similar atmosphere at a slower pace that lasts about a minute before giving way to blistering guitar work and drums, the latter having a decent amount of variety to them throughout. “Putrid Empire” is about the same in depth, though a little past a minute in the pace slows to act as a ritualistic chant with matching drum beats behind clean leads before hurling itself back into the furious blasting and a surprisingly long solo that can only be described as mayhem. “Blood of the Apostles” uses the sharper guitar distortions like razors in the violent passages throughout, though the main verses have a nice subtle groove to them as well.

But of the actual songs, it’s “Seven Tongue Encapturement” that stands as the most addicting. While the blast beats can be a little more traditional in a Grindcore sense, the guitars incorporate a great deal of Heavy Metal oriented hooks to the mix that bring in some early first wave Black Metal touches without completely removing some of the regional desert environments that can be found in spots like around the two minute mark. Thankfully this is one of the few not hindered by the biggest drawback of the release: The guttural vocals.

Sure, you could wish for the songs to be a little longer, and they easily could last another sixty, maybe seventy seconds, but the limited range in vocals is where the biggest negative impact can be picked up. They work perfectly to complete the sinister vibe coming from the music, but sadly not only stick to the same general tone, but are also kind of masked by the louder music. Of course “Putrid Empire” does change things up thanks to that ritualistic segment, but that’s as much as you get outside of random background vocals like the three shouted lines during “Blood of the Apostles” and “Dogmatheist.”

Aside the superior “Seven Tongue Encapturement,” most of this release is an example of the modern wave of Black Metal done right by including a good deal of variety to the instruments, especially the drums. Marduk and many other leaders of this style seem to often neglect that instrument, degrading it to the point of sounding like a single repetitive blast beat from start to finish. Here the only aspect that would really make this experience any better would be a stronger, more dynamic vocal presence. With that being the only notable fault of this release, Deus Ignotus put together a strong EP that acts as a companion piece for fans of Chrismation that can also stand out on its own merits. If you enjoy a good Black Metal release, Procession of an Old Religion is definitely one worth checking out.

01. Intro – 2:06
02. Dogmatheist – 4:32
03. Seven Tongue Encapturement – 3:03
04. Blood of the Apostles – 3:22
05. Putrid Empire – 3:27
Initial Pressing Score: 7.5/10

Deus Ignotus

Digital review copy of this release provided by Forever Plagued Records.