Muert: Mysteriorum Prophanationis Sepulcralis

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Muert: Mysteriorum Prophanationis Sepulcralis
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Muert: Mysteriorum Prophanationis Sepulcralis
Black Metal
Demonhood Productions
September 14th, 2012
Release length: 39:17
Bandcamp
Myspace
Muert is another entry into the catacombs of the Black Metal underworld. This Spanish trio has been picked up by the recently formed Demonhood Productions to issue their debut full-length effort, Mysteriorum Prophanationis Sepulcralis. While not quite being completely cut off from their fans thanks to Myspace and Bandcamp pages, they still remain somewhat of a mystery, not really having more information than necessary out to the general public of their existence. Is this a sign of another group that wishes the remain anonymous in the raw depths of the blackened fire, or is this recording just another drop in the hat that tries to benefit from what smoke and mirrors exist?

Mysteriorum Prophanationis Sepulcralis isn’t the most raw recording you’ll come across, but the somewhat modern quality does have some less-than-crisp elements at work. The guitars are sharp enough that every note does cut away at the listener rather deeply, and the edge from the loud, deep bass does give things an additional slight bluntness that helps keep the rhythm in some of the melancholic, or generally aggressive and catchy tracks. The same goes for the pulsing thud of the bass kicks that come through above the rest of the instruments, as well as the kit, bringing in some static that seems like a faux rawness that the volume levels of the louder cymbals and tighter drowned out snares help to make. The vocals are also a lot more digital than they clearly come off, utilizing a strong echo and distortion to make the shouting approach more like a voice traveling through the winds on a cold night, except the music, while still somewhat atmospheric in its own right, doesn’t always establish the environment necessary to make it work.

But, despite the audio levels and the clashing raw verses digital sounds, Mysteriorum Prophanationis Sepulcralis has plenty of solid tracks that show a sinister Black Metal worship within their ranks. Things kick off with a heavy wooden door creaking open with altered guttural-esque narration. This sets more of a creepy b-grade Tales from the Crypt tone to the recording, lasting over a minute and a half before it finally fades and allows the mid-tempo “Holocaust in the Christian Tombs” to kick in, showing off the catchy early second wave Black Metal influence, but with a good deal of hostility behind it, amplifying as the pace picks up and the performance becomes much tighter. This also causes the vocals to become more of a rhasp than a general shouting like before, but, sadly, it doesn’t remain throughout. While a good song, this offering doesn’t exactly stand for what awaits the listener, as there are plenty of stronger tracks coming up.

“Hordes in Battle” really sticks out with a creepy environment, and some enthusiastic vocals that match it quite well. The melancholic melody is placed at the forefront of the recording, and you will instantly find yourself banging your head along to it, though the sudden drop in cymbal hits in some areas might throw you off for a second. Other than that, the shouting vocals sound far more powerful here as well, and even add a hint of intimidation, especially when the two styles work together in layers. “A Night With No Mercy” has a dominating dark atmosphere, escalting the tension of the faster paced music and the aggression that comes with it. Again, the shouting approach works well thanks largely to the deeper tone they reach and how well the music covers up some of their faults. When the pace does slow down at times, the music resorts to riffs with some melody that becomes quite haunting, as well as highly infectious, all without being forced into existence. “Noelia” is also worth your time, starting with a slow fade in that cascades the cut with early frostbitten Black Metal glory, moving into a slower, grim passage that erupts with a hostile vocal performance, and plenty of variety throughout that will have you banging your head along with every twist that comes your way, growing tighter and more evil with every passage.

Thankfully this album really only has one blunder outside the less-than-awe-inspiring “Holocaust in the Christian Tombs,” and that’s “Burial in the Forest.” The simpler material being played utilizes a gallop that focuses on the drums. Unfortunately, given the volume of the bass kicks and the cymbals at times, which seems to be podded up more than any other song on this specific recording, the guitars and bass can be drowned out a little more than necessary. This actually makes the song sound as if it was from an entirely different recording session, and the levels were matched by ear in the studio instead of to the exact design from the first time around. While not sterilized from how empty it ultimately ends up, there’s no denying the song is hard to get into thanks to how little bite remains. However, when it picks up, the guitars do become a little more important, sounding somewhat richer and enjoyable, though not by much.

Mysteriorum Prophanationis Sepulcralis may not start off as the most appealing Black Metal offering, especially given its production quality and how it comes off during “Introducing Death” and “Holocaust in the Christian Tombs.” But, as the album progresses, the music grows in quality, showing off that, with the exception of “Burial in the Forest,” this is exactly how the album has to sound. Muert prove themselves to be a force worth taking note of, and fans of this style’s second wave groups will be met with a great deal of quality that will find them crawling back for more in both a devoted manner, and even just a casual experience.

01. Introducing Death – 1:32
02. Holocaust in the Christian Tombs – 4:08
03. Hordes in Battle – 4:25
04. In the Graveyard My Perdition – 3:47
05. Burial in the Forest – 4:43
06. The Hateful Ritual – 5:58
07. A Night with No Mercy – 4:14
08. Noelia Old Skull – 4:16
09. Storm in the Cathedral of God – 6:14
Overall Score: 8.5/10
Muert (logo)Digital review copy of this release provided by Demonhood Productions.