VI De Praestigiis Angelorum 01VI. Yes, yet another band with a name that’s not easily Google-able, but after a month of nothing but doom and “space metal,” I decided I was due for some rather bleak, black artistry. What I didn’t know upon grabbing De Praestigiis Angelorum for review was that the band was comprised of former members of Antaeus and current members of Aosoth and The Order of Apollyon. So my French black metal senses were tingling big time, and with good reason: De Praestigiis Angelorum is one impressive debut.

After a rather unsettling intro comprised of sultry angelic voices moaning in either ecstasy or pain, “Par le jugement causé par ses poisons” hurdles you face-first into the depths of Hell with frenetic blastbeats, tremolo chords, and the acidic vocals of guitarist INVRI, who sounds like a more pained Vindsval (Blut Aus Nord). Musically, the insanity can be compared to Aosoth with flourishes of Deathspell Omega. It can drag on for a little too long towards the end, but between the atonal riffing, relentless pummeling and occasional grooves by drummer Blastum (Merrimack), it makes for a rather energetic and chaotic opener.

What keeps me from readily proclaiming this as The Next Big French Thing is that very few curveballs are thrown at you until the fourth track, “Regarde tes cadavres car il ne te permettra pas qu’on les enterre,” where you feel the ground give way at the 4:08 mark – thinking the song has ended its insanity, just to be thrown into a discordant dirge of horns, strings, and that damn choir moaning before your skin is flayed alive by relentless riffing and blasts. If you could only measure my grin once this happened. From there, the album went from “interesting” to “where is this going to lead me,” as there are a bevy of Voivod riffs (“Une place parmi les morts”), sweet solos (the end of “Il est trop tard pour rendre gloire. Ainsi la lumière sera changée en ombre de la mort”… yes, that’s the entire song title), and moments of Blut Aus Nordic brilliance (“Une place parmi les morts” and the second half of closer “Plus aucun membre ne sera rendu”), and all of it played skillfully and with blaring intensity.

VI De Praestigiis Angelorum 02a

Produced by bassist BST (The Order of Apollyon), De Praestigiis Angelorum sounds very lively. The guitars shimmer and clang during the atonal parts, the drums pound with organic heft, and the bass pops in and out with full audibility. If there are complaints to be had, it’s with some of the songwriting. While there’s not a bad song on here, the album doesn’t begin to absolutely floor the listener until the aforementioned second half of “Regarde tes cadavres…” But once it does, it grabs (and holds) your attention effortlessly.

2015 began as a rather ho-hum year for metal music, and it’s ending with me shuffling my year-end list yet again. VI made a damn good debut full-length with De Praestigiis Angelorum, and I see them making a serious name for themselves outside of their main projects. Keep this on your radar.


Rating: 3.5/5.0
DR: 8 | Format Reviewed: 256 kbps mp3
Label: Agonia Records
Website: facebook.com/vi
Release Dates: EU: 2015.09.25 | NA: 10.16.2015

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  • WalrusKing

    Thanks Grymm for the review. Based on the embedded track listening to this album will make the start of the day very interesting.

  • Martin Knap

    So much good black metal. Now we have the perfect soundtrack for the time Donald Trump becomes president ands World War 3 starts .

    • sir_c

      why so sad? we still have the unicorns

    • Alexandre Barata

      Meh there will be no WW3, based on Trump. He’s making the game for getting christian votes, and they’ll obdiently will vote. But I believe he’s more intelligent than that, otherwise I don’t believe he would still be one of the biggest capitalists on USA.

      As for the BM this year, it has been great, just waiting for new Tsjuder and the new Kampfar :)

      • Martin Knap

        I would feel safer if the red buttons were entrusted to a computer program called Skynet than to him ;-)

    • basenjibrian

      The problem with Trump is that he is just impolitic. The other candidates are in some ways worse. At least Trump is not (in reality) a raving religious loon. They ALL want war. Including that terrifying Ambition Machine, Bloody Hillary (do a little reading on Hil’s Big Libyan Adventure and the aftermath. And no, I am NOT talking about the Benghazi thing but the fact that the US and its European vulture allies destroyed a country that had the temerity to even oppose feebly the dominance of the western money machines) It’s what the United States does-and increasingly poorly at that. (Note, “poorly” assumes that the purpose of our various adventures, including those approved by the current Peace Prize President, is to win. It’s not. It’s to make money for the embedded Lords of Chaos Capitalism.)

      • Martin Knap

        I don’t disagree, but wouldn’t his brand of populism kill the patient whom he pertains to be able to cure? Some populism might do American politics well though, I’d probably vote Sanders even if I was a Republican.

  • Martin Duhaime

    Je crois que cet album mérite un 4! Cela fait longtemps que je n’ai pas écouté de black métal aussi rafraîchissant. Bien joué!

    • Martin Knap

      Good thing I was on an airplane that transferred on Charles De Gaulle airport recently, so I could pick up some French, otherwise I would not understand. Refreshing indeed :-)

    • Grymm

      I almost did score it a 4, but I was waffling between that and a 3.5, and when you waffle, you score downward. That said, though, this could very well make my year-end list in a couple months. It’s a solid album!

    • Stefunal

      Hell yeah, understood it without googling. Looks like the efforts of my teachers in making me speak french weren’t entirely pointless.

      The inserted track is impressive indeed!

      • Martin Knap

        I talked to my buddy’s French gf who is finishing college and only recently started to learn English because of him. She said she didn’t want to learn English because it is something society expects of you these days. After some thinking I concluded that this really is a thing only a French person could say :-)

        • Martin Duhaime

          Well, it depends on your pov. I live in a French speaking province of Canada, I’ll let you guess which one it is. A lot of people do speak English, but some don’t and never will because of historical/political stuff. IMO, if you want to be opened to the rest of the world, speaking English is a must. French is cool, but English too!

          • Martin Knap

            I live on the Old Continent where national peculiarities are in abundance. French peculiarities are one of the more interesting ones.

          • [not a Dr]

            Manitoba?

          • Monsterth Goatom

            No, he means Saskatchewan, of course. ; )

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            Agree with you: French might be cool, but if you want the world to be open for you, English is a MUST.

        • [not a Dr]

          In English-speaking countries, society kind of expects you to learn English too…

          • Martin Knap

            non-English speaking countries too…

          • basenjibrian

            Not if you are a lazy murdering dusky hued immigrant coming to steal all the “Murican jobs!
            (This thread needed one more Trump comment!)

          • [not a Dr]

            As a matter of fact, I am!
            Stealing jobs is for wusses. I destroy jobs by automating them and replacing humans with computer programs.
            Some of them I replace with very, very simple scripts…

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            Those elitist bastards!

        • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

          Refusing to learn English is like refusing to learn how to read. That´s something only a stupid person would do. No matter which reason you claim for it, you are just keeping yourself from a lot of knowledge. But then they say ignorance is bliss.

          • Martin Knap

            Yeah, it shows that she’s kind of juvenile and a protected child until recently. Reality has caught up with her :-)

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            I hope SHE catches up with reality ;-)

          • Martin Knap

            That’s a better formulation, probably :-)

    • Dr. Scorpion

      Oui.Vraiment.J’aime les françaises chansons black metal beucoup.Je très aime la chanson embeddé( is this right?).GRYMM ROCKS.

      • [not a Dr]

        Imbriquée would be the “correct” word.
        But anyone in the Outaouais region (the part of Québec that’s close to Ottawa) will understand it better the way you wrote it.
        However, chanson is feminine, so it would be “la chanson embedée”.
        (Et vive Le Grymm)

  • Great album, I bought it on basis of ‘Il trop tard..’ (the embedded track). The only thing that’s starting to get to me after a couple of spins are the drums. Organic? The opposite, the snare sounds liveless.

    • brutal_sushi

      I’m the complete opposite, I think the drum production fits their sound nicely.

  • DIMENSIONAL BLEEDTHROUGH

    Members of Aosoth, Antaeus, and Merrimack? Voivod influence? Cool cover? Sold! Embedded track sounds vicious.

    • You wot m8?

      Missoula? Have I, perhaps, found another metal enthusiast from the Big Sky state?

  • Besides actually having a drummer, the De Praestigiis Angelorum’s biggest improvement over De Praestigiis Daemonum is the guitar which suddenly comes alive and is freed from the wall of sound. Its shrill character, the way it seems to be wailing for INVRI to stop, reminds me a lot of Bölzer. I miss Bölzer.

  • Alexandre Barata

    Great album, I just wish the guitar was a bit louder in the mix, but we can’t have everything. A nice alternative to Blut Aus Nord, in a year without a release from them :)

  • One More Thing

    Holy shit, that was a really good song! Super stoked to check out the rest of this. Great review, Grymm; per usual.

  • Somehow I missed this review, I got to listen the album via the bandcamp discovery and liked it very much. That’ll teach me not to close AMG ever again.

  • Martin Knap was right about Trump getting elected, so here’s hoping he’s wrong about WW3.

    Meanwhile this album is going for a sweet 3 euros on Agonia’s Bandcamp so if you were dithering then now is the time to take the plunge.