Corpus Diavolis – Atra Lumen (Review)

Corpus DiavolisThis is the third album from Corpus Diavolis, a French black metal band.

Featuring a member of Eradikal Insane, this is occult black metal in the vein of 1349, Marduk and Watain.

It’s hard not to like this kind of thing. Straight from the off the band nail their colours to the mast with their Satanic brand of black metal.

The songs foster dark atmospheres and evil moods, revelling in their grim, sharp nature. The tracks boast a strong, full sound that allows the band to sing their obscure hymns to their foul gods with bleak, wild freedom.

I like the keen sense of dynamics and pacing that the songs share; this is not black metal that can be accused of only going at one speed. Blasting hatred flows smoothly into slow, doom-filled horrorscapes as easily as fresh blood runs from the sacrificial altar. This variety serves the songs well as they slice, scythe and slash through the playing time.

I like the variety; I like their frenzied speed, but I also like it when they really slow down, or become all bombastic with terrifying grandeur. Yes, there’s a lot to savour on this release.

The band show good songwriting skills and there’s sometimes Marduk/Watain levels of catchiness in the songs, which is never a bad thing. There are plenty of good ideas across the album, and the listener’s attention doesn’t wane one bit.

The band make good use of dissonance, melodies and atmosphere, as well as the occasional bout of pure blackened brutality. It all works well with the various speeds and interesting ideas to produce an album of black metal that’s both impressive and enjoyable.

Corpus Diavolis could very well herald the end times with this album. The fact that they’re recognisably of this blackened style, yet have managed to put their own spin on a well-worn genre speaks volumes for their talent and passion.

The vocalist should be noted too, as his traditionally rasped screams are full of charisma and character. He powers through the material like a slithering, venomous predator, dominating wherever he appears. The music spreads out behind him like a miasma of darkness, transmitting plague and despair.

Dark, evil and full of occult power, this is one of the best examples of this style of orthodox black metal that I’ve heard in a while.

Very highly recommended.

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