Acedia Mundi – Speculum Humanae Salvationis (Review)

Acedia MundiThis is the debut album from French black metal band Acedia Mundi.

So, what do we have here? This is modern black metal played with a technical sheen that still manages to be relatively catchy, despite its imposing veneer.

Brutal, cold technicality meets atmospheric, warped melodies, and dark auras. This is non-typical black metal with a progressive attitude and an unconventional approach to the style, but not so much as to be wildly unfamiliar or inaccessible.

Although there’s a hint of depressive black metal in their style, this is overshadowed by the band’s technical and melodic sides. Along with a sprinkling of death metal and good old-fashioned second-wave influences, this is a release that looks forward more than it does backward, as well as also keeping a mutated eye on what other extreme metal genres are doing too. Elements of the dissonant black/death styles get a look in, for example, providing yet one more reason why Acedia Mundi have produced something different and of note here.

Bold and passionate, the tracks on this release are surprisingly catchy and memorable, especially for music that is essentially the aural equivalent of a rapidly spreading pandemic. I think this is largely down to the guitars; both rhythm and lead guitars seem to be very well thought-out and have a lot of moments that stick firmly in the mind. Although I wouldn’t really describe the band as melodic black metal, there are certainly aspects of that style on this album, and there is more than enough melody here to provide something catchy to latch on to while the rest of the music burns, sands, blinds, and rots you from within.

Well, this was quite the experience. Make sure you subject yourself to it too; if you survive, you’ll emerge stronger.

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