Crimson Moon - OneironautLet’s be honest. The internet has simultaneously made everything better while absolutely fucking ruining it. Yes, we can get music and movies instantly, order pizza online, and buy embarrassing shit like hemorrhoid cream without handing someone money face to face. At the same time, any mystery about life has been sucked out of our consciousness like an effeminate Brad Pitt in Interview With A Vampire chomping on some pale, lame white girl. I have never seen that movie start to finish, but I did review Crimson Moon‘s To Embrace The Vampyric Blood in ’97 long before most of you were a scratch in your fathers’ nuts and wrote, “The ideas here are straightforward, but executed with conviction, and that is what lends the album its weight and impact. A good example of US black metal done well.” Has much changed in the Crimson Moon camp with their third full-length, Oneironaut?

Fuck yes. While they may not be reinventing the wheel, Crimson Moon have added some spikes, blades, and a strong dose of the occult. I’ve listened to a bevy of US black metal albums over the last 20 years and only a handful have given me the ancient feeling like Yamatu, December WolvesAbsu and more recently, Abazagorath‘s The Satanic Verses — a particularly prime cut that chills the spine. Crimson Moon have taken a genre torn and abused and released music that is as potent as it was before we knew it was forged by mere mortals. Now we know that they take shits, watch YouPorn, and eat Popeye’s in their drawers. Maybe at the same time. They aren’t Satanic mages. They are normal, Netflix binge-watching fools like you and me. However, Crimson Moon sound like they walk around in black robes, drink blood, speak to the undead, and have one of those fancy daggers with the curvy blade on them at all times.

“Gossamer of Arachne” is a near nine-minute trip that touches on the very coldest of Nordic witches’ tits with a cavernous sound to the choral voices that helped make Hades‘ …Again Shall Be such a masterpiece. If you grew up among the forests that Fenriz strolled through on the way to find a copy of Testament‘s The Ritual on cassette in Until The Light Takes Us, sure, writing stuff with this much atmosphere and edge might come naturally, but these fuckers are from California! Scorpios Androctonus has, since their debut, worked with bands like Demoncy and Melechesh. The flavor of the latter is especially prevalent during the closing moments of the opening track. While a mashing of Nordic, Middle Eastern and American black metal may read like a soup sandwich, not for a second does a moment on Oneironaut sound misguided. Rather, this whole release, at six long tracks clocking in at close to an hour, is a challenging and rewarding listen. “Molding of a Spell” blasts at first then grooves like Morbid Angel on a Euronymous trip. The clean vocals provide a respite from the intensity, letting the mind and heart recoup before ridiculous double bass and screeches engage the cremaster muscles and make the balls (for our male listeners) retract back into the stomach.

Crimson Moon 2016

Oneironaut is remarkable in that, despite being multi-layered, it sounds so live. If the drums on this one were programmed like on the debut, one wouldn’t know it. “Seeker of the 7th Gate” finds the band going from a comfortable black metal gait to a melodic and depressing guitar/spoken word passage, then suddenly a Lombardo-ish frenetic fill leads into the slowest and most vile grooving riff on the album. Then the previous passage re-emerges like a bad case of gonorrhea that the antibiotics just couldn’t stand up to, and we’re reminded that Scoprios is a master black metal songwriter. 2007’s EP, The Serpent Beneath The Skin was a fine continuation of what Crimson Moon accomplished on the debut as was the previous full-length, Under the Serpentine Spell, but holy hell… this is a whole new level of mindfuck. Give a listen to what they do 4:45 into the aforementioned song — layered clean vocals and a catchy guitar harmony that’s as beautiful as bestial. It’s this conglomeration of the familiar, frightening, and fierce that makes Oneironaut as great as it is.

If you’re an old shitty metal head like me that thinks you’ve heard it all, clench your butt cheeks and hope you haven’t had any Taco Bell because you may soil yourself at how vital and vitriolic Crimson Moon sound. Me? My bowels are cleared out thanks to the Metamucil I ordered online so I’ll be listening to this shit for ages to come.


Rating: 4.0/5.0
DR: 9 | Format Reviewed: 224kbps mp3
Label: World Terror Committee Records
Websites: crimsonmoonxeper.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/Crimsonmoonxeper
Releases Worldwide: December 6th, 2016

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  • GardensTale

    A 4.0 in December?! (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

    • Reese Burns

      i find that a lot of good black metal comes out in December, what with it getting cold and grim and all.

      • Diego Molero

        Last year it was Batushka.

        • Monsterth Goatom

          Man, that’s right. Still spin that one regularly.

          • Chigo

            Ditto. It’s not losing its impact for me at all.

      • AlphaBetaFoxface

        did you just assume my hemisphere?

        #triggered

        • basenjibrian

          Well, if you are Australian, it may be sunny and warm, but the entire fauna is poisonous and out to get you.
          If you are Kiwi, the endless seismic events are pretty grim. :(
          If you are South American, armed drug armies are making entire cities no go zones.
          So yes…still “grim and all”

          • Diego Molero

            South American here, and that sounds a little exaggerated…

          • basenjibrian

            Nooooooooo.
            One never trolls or exaggerates on a heavy metal discussion board!
            LOL.
            Sorry, man!

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            I know you’re Venezuelan and we both know he’s not exaggerating…

          • Diego Molero

            C’mon, “armed drug armies” does sound a little exaggerated I think.

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            It might not be widespread, but it happens.

          • [not a Dr]

            They wouldn’t be ARMies if they were not ARMed.

          • Diego Molero

            Hey, I know! Those weren’t my words…

          • basenjibrian

            Venezuelan? Wow. Well…maybe not drug armies. Maybe gangs of government armed goons. The drug armies are only at the border? Read Insight Crime.

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            In Venezuela there are drug armies, there are gangs of government armed goons, there are government armed goons turned drug gangs… One doesn’t really know when one thing ends and the other one begins.

          • basenjibrian

            Viva la Revolucion Bolivarian!
            (I mean, as an outsider I understood the original appeal of El Caudillo del Popolo, but damn, did it turn sour quickly! As it will for the idiotic Trumpalos as they “privatize” (i.e., turn over the money to the casino criminals and gamblers on Wall Street) American oldsters’ Social Security and Medicaid.)

          • Feytalist

            African here… thanks for ignoring my entire continent, asshole :D

          • basenjibrian

            Mea culpa. AIDS. Lords Resistance Army. Nigerian Phone Scammers. Necklacing. Libya.
            You are right, good sir. Absolutely THE grimmest. But you do have Wildernessking, so all is forgiven!

      • Hammersmith

        I always gotta spin At the Heart of Winter on the first snowfall of the year. Every. Damn. Year.

        • BranMakMorn

          Same :)

        • Did that yesterday in blizzard along with Blizzard Beasts.

        • Dr. Wvrm

          That, Hoth, and now Borknagar’s Winter Thrice are my shoveling playlist. I’m sufficiently frozen by the time I’m through.

          • The Nerd.

            Winter Thrice is underrated. It’s a great album.

          • Reese Burns

            I wasn’t big into it when it came out, gonna have to give it another listen.

          • The Nerd.

            It’s a grower that’s for sure and there are a few duds like Cold Runs the River and Noctilucent . However Panorama is my song of the year, and Rhymes of the Mountain, Winter Thrice, When Chaos Calls and Terminus are all corkers.

          • Ferrous Beuller

            I loved Winter Thrice. It’s one of the albums that has earned consistent playtime through the whole year.

          • The Nerd.

            Agreed. I wasn’t impressed at first but it just kept coming back onto my playlists.

      • BernBern17

        ‘Cold and grim’

        It’s been hitting 40 degrees Celsius in Australia. It hasn’t been cold but it’s definitely been grim

        • The Nerd.

          40 degrees is still grim, grimly hot.

        • Mayhaps black metal ought to be warm as lava to prepare us for the infernal flames of Hell?
          Better revisit Krater’s Urere, an utterly fiery piece of blazing German black metal.

  • Dr. Wvrm

    I’d heard this was getting some buzz. Definitely will have to check it out now.

  • lennymccall

    Yep this has been making the rounds and it’s really great.

  • Diego Molero

    Damn you, Al Kikuras! Today I finished my top 10 and now I have to check this and perhaps ended up changing the hole thing.

    • GardensTale

      It’s not that difficult though. Inject in proper place, everything below moves a place down, #10 drops off.

      • Diego Molero

        Yeah, I know. It’s just that I have been the last month listening non-stop to my favorite releases of the year and the ones that could be top 10 but haven’t listen yet. So today I finally decided with my ultimate top 10 and now we get this review. So now I will have to listen to this a couple of times and see if it’s top 10 worthy for me. Although I’m pretty happy with my list as it is.

    • It’s in my top 10 for sure

  • Kronos

    Good luck with those hemorrhoids, Al.

    • Such a pain in the ass

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        Easily cured by wearing a ring made of donkey hoof. Seriously.

        • Science me

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            I wish I could science you, but there’s no science behind it or at least not that I know of. Wearing a ring made from donkey hoof it’s a folk remedy used to cure hemorrhoids in Venezuela. As far as I know, it works every time. How does it work? I don’t know. But it works. Or at least seems to work.

          • [not a Dr]

            Sounds like a kick-ass remedy as well as an ass-kick remedy.

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            You’re supposed to wear the donkey hoof ONLY after it’s been removed from the donkey.

  • basenjibrian

    II just love saying out loud “Abazagorath” (I have their discography and like them quite a bit in all their silly EVILLLLLLLLness)

  • Chigo

    I still like to buy my hemorrhoid cream in person. When the clerk hands it to me, I clasp their hand, stare into their eyes for an uncomfortably long time and say: “Thank you. I’ll think of you when I use this.”

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      I’ll start buying hemorrhoid cream even though I don’t need it just to do this!

      • Chigo

        Sure you don’t. Suuuuure.

    • sir_c

      I’ve got a twitching eye. Ever tried to buy aspririns and not to return home with another pack of condoms?

  • basenjibrian

    In addition to the awesomeness that is Crimson Moon, thank you, thank you thank you for turning me onto the creepy strangeness of Yamatu. What a bizarre kick they are!

    • Yamatu are some strange shit courtesy of artist Mark Riddick’s brother Michael. I am lucky to have a great collection of the music limited to 50 copies. Amazing package, disturbing tunes!

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    Oh, that feeling of touching on the very coldest of Nordic witches’ tits!

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    Very Enjoyable review their Al!

  • Dudeguy Jones

    best review! haha! you are a wordsmith, my friend!

  • WasteOvTime

    I was really, really into this band when I was younger, but kind of lost interest the last few years in that style in general. This album has seriously surprised me, I think it is even better than the earlier stuff and that is saying something.

  • Mingaul H

    Good ..someone remembers Interview with a vampire…because if you look online it is interview with THE vampire. Mandela effect