As many metal fans know, Anti-Cosmic Satanism is the life blood of many black metal bands. Some use it as lyrical content and some as a life philosophy. While I’m not going to delve into the Misanthropic Luciferian Order/Temple of the Black Light, I will point out that it has sharp contrasts to not only LaVeyan Satanism but also to Christianity and Catholicism. You might be wondering, “Doc, what the fuck does this have to do with the current review?” My question to you would be, “how the fuck does a band cemented in anti-cosmic philosophy jump ship and take up Catholicism?” As you can probably guess, we are referring to Reverorum ib Malacht. So what happens when a black metal band converts to “Roman Catholic Black Metal?” And how swollen does one’s black metal testicles become when they discover that Reverorum ib Malacht ripped the album title and cover from one of the most iconic black metal albums of all time (even if Grymm doesn’t agree)?
What you get is a run-of-the-mill, anything-but-Mayhem offering that is so thick with atmosphere and noise that anymore feedback is bound to drown you. Being the diehard black metal fan that I am, “unblack” metal is a tough pill to swallow. The problem is that the trve genre is so strongly linked to anti-Christian philosophies that I find it really hard to enjoy black metal with Christian undertones. I know this makes me biased and closed minded to this sub subgenre, but I just have a difficult time understanding the point.
All that aside, I took a deep breath, opened my mind and delved deep into Reverorum ib Malacht’s sophomore effort, De Mysteriis Dom Christi. What resulted was an overall boredom and annoyance at the overdone experimentation therein. The album was nowhere near the level of their debut, Urkaos. The greatest culprit is the overwhelming attention to atmosphere. Reverorum ib Malacht sacrifices the music in order to build an atmosphere made up of odd feedback, eerie noises and echoing chants/spoken-words that sounds like it was recorded behind the pulpit of a cathedral. While this is perfectly appropriate blasphemy for most black metal, it comes off sounding like a Christian black metal band mimicking 1349’s dreaded Revelations of the Black Flame.
Sadly, the odd interludes and noise segments that break up the actual music are what you end up remembering. They include elements such as the heavy feedback, growls and spoken-word of “I” and “V,” the creepy peacefulness of “VII,” and the drone of “IX.” Also, I know it’s supposed to be a primitive and raw production, but the music is so low in the mix that sometimes the eerie noises become the lead and the music the background (the best example being “II”). Unfortunately, all of the songs suffer from this problem and all have the same formula: classic old-school production, very Attlila-like vox (ranging from his De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas days to his performance on the latest Esoteric Warfare), chants that sound recorded in a cathedral or a tunnel, and a synthy atmosphere weighing the album down like a tar baby. The only highlight is the nicely balanced closer, ”XI,” which incorporates all these elements seamlessly.
Besides the fact that all of this weirdness seems inappropriate for an unblack metal album, De Mysteriis Dom Christi is just too fucking long. Clocking it at over an hour, the atmospheric tracks become distracting and the true (trve?) songs began to blend together. This is a shame when compared to Reverorum ib Malacht’s adventurous debut. While Urkaos was also packed with atmospheric tracks, they just seemed to fit within the album more seamlessly, whereas the songs here feel like pointless meanderings around and through noise; the same noise that jumps for DR2 to DR11 within a single album [That’ll wake ya up! — Steel Druhm]
This is a perfect case of a “love it or hate it” album. You can already find people praising this album or flinging feces at it. I tried to look at it for what it truly is but, sadly, I’m unimpressed. [And what the hell am I looking at in the promo photo, a giant crab? — Steel Druhm].
DR: 7 | Format Reviewed: 192 kbps mp3
Label: The Ajna Offensive
Release Dates: Out Worldwide 09.16.2014