Belgian black metallers Absolutus have returned after a long absence with their long awaited second record, the catchily titled ‘Pugnare In Iis Quae Obtinere Non Possis’. Occupying the same kind of experimental, otherworldly sphere as Deathspell Omega or Blut Aus Nord, Absolutus leave nothing in their blackened, spacey wake.
After the brooding, hypnotic ambience of opening track ‘Abyssus Abyssum Invocat’, we are treated to an almost traditional black metal assault, with howling rasps, thrashing riffs and a cold, bleak atmosphere. There’s a distinct feeling of uneasiness, a threatening presence that doesn’t ever quite reveal itself however, that impregnates each savage riff or vocal incantation. From the mysterious album art cover to the impenetrable Latin song titles, Absolutus conjure up images of forgotten, unspeakable cults working in darkness.
The song writing is strong, and there’s hints of dark majesty about ‘Ego Sum Qui Sum’, which matches perfectly with the creepy ‘Damnat Quod Non Intelligunt’. There’s an expert melding of traditional icy black metal and almost industrial or dark ambient soundscapes, and it just enhances the quality of this record. ‘Pugnare In Iis Quae Obtinere Non Possis’ is an album that rewards both instantly and over time. Your initial reactions will be cowering from the savagery, and soon that will build into fear of what lurks within Absolutus and their dark shadows. Excellent.