Mephorash are a Swedish black metal band whose new record, ‘1557: Rites of Nullification’ takes much influence from the Middle East as well as bands like Behmoth and Melechesh. Four tracks of vast, crawling black metal chaos that envelopes you slowly with suffocating and endless intent.
Opener ‘Riphyon: The Tree of Life Putrescent’ lurches forward with ritualistic incantations, before a blasting grandeur begins. Mephorash take the scale of Behemoth’s greatest works and build upon them, creating multifaceting epics that don’t retain the same regal savagery of the Polish icons, but take an altogether more introspective path. Ghostly choirs rise above the thunder of blastbeats and the icy buzz of the guitar.
This is an album that burns like the Arab sun, a fiery cataclysm of esoteric black metal. ‘Phezur: Dissolving the Sea of Yetzirah’ is laden with a dark occult atmosphere, and when the band switches gears from the slower, malignant parts to the scorching blastbeat riddled parts, they do so effortlessly and almost without thought. These are songs that are organically ten minutes plus, not because of filler or of overly long sections, but just because Mephorash need them to be. I wasn’t even part way through the second track and I knew that this was going to be special.
Each track develops over its length, never feeling too long or clumsy. Each riff, each caustic vocal, each haunting atmospheric touch is there to say something. ‘1557: Rites of Nullification’ is an album that is perfectly weighted between chaos and calm, darkness and peace. Grandeur comes naturally, as does the raging torrent. Be it the enigmatic ‘Cheidolon: Destroying the Blade of Beriah’ or the simply stunning closer ‘Berberioth: Vandalising the Throne of Atziluth’, Mephorash are looking like my discovery of 2015 thus far, especially when blakc metal is concerned. Stunning