Monday, October 3, 2011

De Magia Veterum- The Divine Antithesis(2011)

De Magia Veterum- The Divine Antithesis

Mories de Jong is on a mission. A mission to see the human race, that which he so obviously despises with all of his shriveled heart and blackend soul, completely and utterly wiped out of existence. His increasingly popular Black Noise project Gnaw Their Tongues has been a fantastic and brilliant start to his mass genocide of humanity, but with his side project De Magia Veterum, Mories is going into Total War mode.

Almost completely devoid of song structure and human feeling, The Divine Antithesis is the definition of inhumanity; the ultimate artistic expression of misanthropy. Each track blasts through millions of nearly indecipherable riffs, drums and vocals. It creates a wall of pure destruction that comes erupting out of the speakers, decimating all in its path. Complete sonic devastation is all this album offers. This is both a positive and negative for this fascinating but ultimately limited release.

To talk about this album as specific tracks would not only be doing a dis-service to the album, but also would be a bit pointless: taken as individual tracks, The Divine Anthithesis is not much to talk about. The constant, unending tremolo picking and relentless blast beats are more hypnotic than head banging, and there are few truly memorable individual riffs. Occasionally, demented hints of melody peeks it's desiccated hand from the black soil, and often in brilliant and fascinating ways. But the blast beat rules the day here, and the guitars are trying to race them for most of the record.

But when taken as a whole, The Divine Antithesis is something of a hypnotic, swirling mass of hatred: an endless sea of tortured souls screaming out for release. The guitar playing at times is very technical, and those aforementioned moments of melody and slower tempos allow for seriously awesome listening. The vocals are fantastic, and the bludgeon of sheer dread this album hammers your skull with is impressive and worthy of any listeners time. At the very least, this should be a curiosity listen for anyone looking to discover something totally unique and wholly demented.

As a work of art, The Divine Antithesis is something of a flawed masterpiece. But like any work of art, the visceral nature of the work lessens with time. Without a truly classic concept hidden beneath the surface, it becomes something of a curious novelty as opposed to a timeless work. A painting too impressive to ignore, but not too impressive to end up under a horse-blanket in the attic.

Rating: 8/10

Mitochondrion- Parasignosis(2011)

Mitochondrion- Parasignosis

Perhaps because of the fact I was rather unimpressed with Mitochondrion when I first heard them, I didn't fall into the hype train a lot of people did with this album. I listened to it once when it first came out and never gave it another thought. But after I got very into Archaeaeon a few months ago, I decided to come back to this album and give it another listen. And my second impression of Parasignosis was much better, but my insulation from the hype have given me a clear view of this album. While impressive in its own right, Parasignosis is a flawed record, one that is at least a mild regression from Archaeaeon.

Mitochondrion became such a big deal by doing something different with the Incantation Occult Death Metal sound that is very popular right now. They added a strong technical and dissonant element similar to Immolation along with the heavy use of Ambient Noise and samples. With its raw production, complex riffs and suffocating atmosphere of evil, Archaeaeon made this band a big deal. Parasignosis has many of these same elements, but they are presented in a far less exciting arrangements. Parasignosis is still heavy on the atmosphere: the extensive use of Ambient Noise and occult chanting creates a thick miasma that makes penetrating to the meat of each song an exciting and active listen.

But the riffs on Parasignosis are not as interesting as those on Archaeaeon. The riffing style is much closer to pure Incantation on this album and adds far less of those Deathspell Omega-esque dissonant leads and riffs. There are still those epic moments of inhuman complexity and dissonance, but the are fewer and farther between. "Trials" is a fine enough track, but it often grinds ahead at maximum speed and rarely gives the ideas in the song a chance to breathe: sadly, there is no "Into the Pit of Babel" on this record. The production is also a bit more impenetrable then on Archaeaeon, which actually proves to be a detriment to the album: Mitochondrion are heading into Portal territory with the production on this album, and that is a bit aggravating. And even the use of Ambient Noise is not as effective on Parasignosis: the final track(titled "Ambient outro") is a total waste of time that does nothing to improve the atmosphere, only to detract from the quality of this album.

Parasignosis is a solid, enjoyable listen that still finds ways to excite and entice listeners to hang in for the sometimes rough ride. But Mitochondrion, a band of obvious talent and ability, took a step back rather than forward. In an attempt to become even more atmospheric and occult than before, Mitochondrion lost some of what made them so powerful. Fans of this style of Death Metal must listen to this, but the hype seems to exceed the product.

Rating: 8/10

Welcome The Curse

Welcome to Curse Of The Great White Elephant.

This is a blog for reviews of Extreme Metal, Extreme Punk and Noise, the primary genres I listen to(outside of Pop, Folk and Country Music). That's really about it: I came up with this blog to share about my favorite albums and practice my writing skills, while hopefully entertaining and informing a few people. I will also be doing some more creative stuff from time to time, so be on the look out for that sometime in the near future.

I hope to have a few more contributors to this blog very soon, so stay tuned for updates.

shureshot24 is the technical brains behind this blog. He likely won't post anything in the near future, but he might so keep an eye out. He created all the artwork for this blog, and was instrumental in its design, so make a comment in the ShoutMix if you dig the art.

Enjoy the blog.