Thursday, May 1, 2014

Deus Ignotus - Procession of an Old Religion [2014] (EP)

In all its competition and tumultuous tussle I think the black metal market is having as much problem as that of death metal. It appears that the exact thing these bands want you to do is to lock yourself up in some dilapidated attic, click play, and let your headphones resonate until blood starts to come out of your fucking ears... not and entirely appealing idea. You'd think that, being from Greece, Deus Ignotus would actually have the slight dignity to keep true to the Helenic mysticism of its forefathers Rotting Christ, Necromantia and Varathron, but no - this is a group that would rather exploit a more worldly, better-recognized sound instead of interpreting traditional motives; offering a sound that's not necessarily boring and tread down countless time but failing in consistency and originality what its forebears previously achieved with their ambitious trademarks.

In all truth, it's hard to put Deus Ignotus strictly into one category of black metal. Most of the time I think the tropes of bestial, chaotic war metal a la Blasphemy, Proclamation and Archgoat, even with a little of bit of Inquisition and modern Rotting Christ here and there, but, as if to show how untrammeled their sound is, there's also a consequent worship of more simple black metal which should bring 90's Scandinavian sensibilities to mind. Sound like interesting? Well, I can't entirely agree if you do. Yes, Deus Ignotus does cram in enough dissonance and visceral ugliness to make black metal seem nearly as primordial as something out of its formative years, and yes, the sound is fairly well-produced if not wholly professional, but that's were the line comes to an end. It's just repetitive procedure of chords which work their through the filth of the guitars that sometimes seeps into doom-like paces and sometimes proceeds with the same unbridled vein. And the vocals, to my dismay, don't offer any sort of inexhaustible brilliance - just imagine your typical death metal growls sauntering through an icy Norwegian forest...

And yeah, I actually did have fairly high expectations for this EP, for no reason. I think it's one of those inexplicable fits of sudden expectancy that every avid music fan or reviewer has every now and then, that insurmountable - if momentary - hope that a random discovery will actually turn out to be good - no, great. And the fact that I found the excellent, terrifying intro more intriguing than anything else the EP had to offer makes my sudden apprehensiveness seem like a bitter tragedy. Hell, even the hackneyed, allegedly ''orthodox'' song titles like ''Seven Tongue Enrapturement'' or ''Blood of the Apostles'' managed to compel my attention by means of seducing a metalhead's 12-year-old self with the uncanny and perverse hyperbole jutting right out of the titles; and to think, a 12-year-old yet unexposed to ''Fallen Angel of Death'', ''Welcome To Hell'' or ''Reign In Blood'' might have been considerable enamored by this little snippet of blasphemous noise... Cutting it short on the poor assumptions, I definitely don't think ''Procession of an Old Religion'' is ''bad'', but, as its title might suggest with startling accuracy, it's pretty much nothing more than a dissection and reassessment of traditional black metal with a lot of black/death sentimentality. For a few spins, it's cool, but you'll start to feel as literal part of a procession once you start spinning it more than the recommended dosage.

Putrid Empire

Rating: 65%

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