Ossomancer combine old and new, taking a base of second wave black metal and transporting it to the present day.
The songs combine rhythmic darkness, aggressive presence, and atmospheric grimness. Synths appear here and there, adding to the darkened moods, while blackened melodies streak through the songs with notable presence. The drumming is particularly satisfying throughout, but you can also say that about most of the other instruments, really. Guitar solos are still uncommon enough in black metal for me to pay particular attention to them when they appear, and the ones on Artes Magickae make themselves known quite pleasantly.
The vocals are primarily blackened screams, sounding as if they have been torn straight out of the 90s with their classic feel and delivery. The singer of Absu guests on two tracks too.
The ghosts of Immortal and, to a lesser extent, Satyricon haunt Ossomancer, and it’s to the band’s credit that they take these influences and make them their own. The artists behind Ossomancer have an ear for quality riffs, frequently writing ones that combine blackened heaviness with feeling in such a way as to recall the classics of the genre, but without aping them directly. It’s a fine line, but Ossomancer mostly pull it off with aplomb.
Artes Magickae is a solid trip into black metal waters. The band manage to invoke past times, while also paving the way for the present and the future. It’s an enjoyable album, with an interesting character. Make sure you give it a listen to see what you think.