Posts Tagged ‘Norma Evangelium Diaboli’

altar of perversion - intra naos cover.jpg

This mammoth release of Italian black metallers Altar of Perversion is a collaboration between The Ajna Offensve and Norma Evangelium Diaboli, and is the second full length record after their iconic debut, 2001’s ‘From Dead Temples’. ‘Intra Naos’ is two CDs, 114 minutes of serpentine, scathing black metal vastness, and it is out now!

The opener ‘Adgnosco Veteris Vestigia Flammae’ is a twenty minute leviathan, crossing spaces between battering blasphemy, crawling menace and even soaring melody. Altar of Perversion may be raw in spirit, but their music has plenty of layers to it. The eerie acoustics that open ‘She Weaves Abyssal Riddles and Eorthean Gates’ are creepy and definitely work as part of the more atonal nature of this track. It is a truly impressive feat to create a black metal record that is so long and so faithful to the origins of the genre without becoming mindnumbingly boring. There’s dashes of Blut Aus Nord style tonality, sweeping atmospheric black metal sections and enough blastbeats to destroy any conceptions that this is ‘progressive nonsense’.

Be it through the swelling evil of ‘Cosmic Thule, Inner Temple’ or the labyrinthine twists of ‘Through Flickering Stars, They Seep’. Altar of Perversion have created a masterclass in black metal here. Almost two hours and not a moment is wasted, ‘Intra Naos’ is exactly how black metal should sound; different, raging and absorbing.



Voix cover art

French experimentalists Aluk Tolodo dropped their latest release, ‘Voix’, in February this year on Norma Evangelium Diaboli in Europe, and it is one of those albums that explores metal as a concept of sound. Fully instrumental, enigmatic song titles merely telling you their length: it comes across immediately that this isn’t going to be an instant fix.

The opener ‘8:18’ is an urgent piece of almost post rock, with a menacing undertone to it. It is building to something, something you can never quite reach, with insistent melodies reaching, grasping upward. The second part shimmers with a glacial, black metal tremolo riff  before descending into a rumbling, tribal place. ‘Voix’ (ironically French for voices) is a flowing piece, split into six tracks but essentially one long 43 minute track. This helps the music a lot because it feels like one long journey.

It is a trance inducing experience, each listen revealing new sounds, notes, tones behind the octopian drumming performance and malevolent drone. There are quieter moments (two minutes into ‘7:01’), moments of obtuse noise intervals, and no small amount of progressive, psychedelic influence. ‘Voix’ is a record that would be ruined with vocals, as the purely instrumental methods allows you to embrace every sound, every texture. Aluk Tolodo have created a piece of musical art here; difficult to process at first but infinitely rewarding with patience.