April 19th, 2011
Release legth: 50:51
Once again, Haeresiarchs of Dis takes a more professional, modern approach to the production, but still manages to keep it a little more raw then most of today’s recordings. This causes the music to feel a little muddier, though not by much, and gives it a more analog vibe, especially with the traditional Black Metal wails going on deeper in the mix to the point where they aren’t drowned out, but the music does overtake them enough that you really can’t make out what is being said. Then again, given the performance and how rhaspy and high pitched they are, it’s questionable whether you would understand a word in the first place, even if they weren’t drowned out as much as they are by the music. You wouldn’t really expect that though given how loud the deeper gutteral spoken word introduction to the album is, a great way to start off this album given the intensity and anger of the music on the title track, which starts off the recording. The higher pitch vocals add a certain poison to the mix as the razor-like music cuts away at the listener as the song progresses, building from it’s rather rocky, somewhat hollow start.
The album does seem to have a bit of formula going on with the tracks, as each regular track, such as “In Obsecration of the Seven Darks”, “Remembrance of He Who Defied God”, and so on, are all fast and furious tracks that are followed by epic-sounding slower instrumentals. It’s a little unclear why it is done this way, but for the aggression-soaked songs of this release, these slower songs are more like a welcome safe harbor from the madness, though the songs typically still shelted enough of a maddening and evil atmosphere to them, such as “Aut Vincere Aut Mori”. The song boasts a strong atmosphere that feels chaotic, but as if descending into darkened caverns. Eventually it becomes more piano oriented, and it’s like you are gazing at an unknown piano player deep underground in a dank, wet crypt, as if being in the presence of the phantom of the opera himself as the keyboards cackle a twisted symphony that eventually comes to a conclusion, but well suits the atmospheric Ambience that is “Confounded by the Vanquished Coil”, a song so eery with atmospheric imagery, giving a sense of a cold mist through those aforementioned darkened crypts, as if a mist creeping over you rbody, that you very well could feel a chill in the air against your physical skin, though no such feeling exists outside the accompanying mood and sound effects to this rather twisted song that almost takes on a carnival-like approach with some jumpy music mixed with sinister Black Metal and a haunting vocal performance that isn’t as angry or hate soaked as on previous tracks, making it stand apart nicely. Of course, these two tracks do sort of break up that pattern of fast song, slow instrumental, repeat thanks solely to how they seem to be connected, and with “Confounded by the Vanquished Coil” being a little more slower then the other faster cuts.
In Obsecration of the Seven Darks does become a little more interesting around that point too. “Confounded by the Vanquished Coil” starts to bring the music of the album down a little from a fast paced anger fueled Black Metal thrill ride. Eventually the music takes on a stronger atmospheric vibe, though not always remaining slow and feeding into an epic atmosphere in all the non-instrumentals, such as “Ensorcelled by Khaos”, which is prodominantly slow, features the same rhaspy higher pitched vocals that feel just as aggressive, but concentrate more on an epic vibe to the song thanks to the keyboards and the music, but isn’t afraid to belt out some faster passages to the music, usually showing up later in the song. But, of all the songs, “Grazioso Drone” is perhaps the most intriguing of them all. The song is a slower paced acoustic track that takes on more of a Droning Southern-atmosphere driven track that one might expect to see in some film about hillbilly life, or perhaps even slavery, with some ambience in the background to give it a little life outside that general vibe, making it feel more like a dismall acceptance type of track with a more Egyptian regional feel to it without the Middle Eastern music accompanying it. It’s really hard to explain, and that’s the best way to sum it up, though what also stands out are the deeper clean singing vocals that, in some ways, resemble something off a Black Sabbath CD when it comes to lower, monotone singing, and not necessarily some of the heavier Stoner Rock type of material.
There really isn’t anything bad to say about this album. Some of the later tracks on the album don’t always mix well with the vocals presented here, which are all typically higher pitched wails traditional of Black Metal, though there feels like there’s more bite to them, more energy and rage then some bands would give, and that addition aggression to them winds up hurting the songs a little when they actually start to slow down and take on a more epic atmosphere-driven sound. Other then that, the production feels clean enough to get the point across, and pretty much all the tracks do a good job of casting the listener into the appropriate setting the environment of the music is setting up. The songs feel solid from start to finish and often don’t really come off boring or losting the listener’s interest, which is a good thing considering the closing track, “Consummation of the Seed/Dawn” which is over nine and a half minutes long. This actually winds up being two different songs entirely molded into one, as the song ends around the eight minute mark, and some keyboard music that feels more like something you’d hear at a funeral kicks in for a little while before what sounds like a cannon being fired, and what can only be described as a literal ambient trip into Hell kicks in to end the album. This little outro works well for the album in that, if you listen to an album that has the music start from track one immediately when all tracks have played, it sounds almost as if you are being sent back to Hell in order to go through the same torments once more, basically damned for all eternity to repeat the same thing over and over.
It’s an interesting concept, and if that was truly what was planned for this release, that looping back to the start through Hellish Ambience works well. In Obscration of the Seven Darks is a strong Black Metal effort full of solid music, and great aggressive vocals that, sometimes, feel a little out of place pending the mood of the music. Overall though, it’s well worth checking out, and again stands tall at the head of the legions of underground Black Metal acts with the overall product, as well as it’s raw, yet still a little cleaner then most “raw” Black Metal underground acts, production. If you enjoyed any of Haeresiarchs of Dis material in the past, then this one will definitely not fail you outside some of the outlined hiccups and issues, but even they don’t hold the album back that much. If Haeresiarchs of Dis continue to pump out more albums like In Obsecration of the Seven Darks in such a short amount of time, it really will be impressive, but will probably also spoil their quickly growing fanbase, which is an argument that you really can’t fight against.
01. In Obsecration of the Seven Darks – 6:02
02. Onward Through the Oculus – 2:48
03. Remembrance of He Who Defied God – 7:20
04. Aut Vincere Aut Mori – 5:33
05. Confounded by the Vanquished Coil – 6:46
06. Passage – 4:18
07. Ensorcelled by Khaos – 6:00
08. Grazioso Drone – 2:24
09. Consummation of the Seed/Dawn – 9:38
|Initial Pressing Score: 8.5/10