Animus Mortis – Testimonia (Review)

Animus MortisAnimus Mortis are a Chilean Black Metal band and this is their second album.

This is an intriguing blend of Progressive and Post-Black Metal that lasts 40 minutes and makes a very good impression. It’s Black Metal for the modern age, taking influence from the aforementioned sub-genres to add to their Blackened pot, creating something unusual.

This sits nicely alongside albums from bands like Entropia, Thaw, Outre, Hope Drone, Tempel, Decline of the I, Wayfarer, Deafheaven and many others that play Black Metal with a non-standard spin on things. Bands such as these take up the mantle of Post-Black Metal, (willingly or not), to expand their musical horizons and add to their Blackened palette.

Chants, screams, growls and all manner of other vocalisations are used to great effect to provide a rich vocal performance. These are multifaceted and varied, allowing the singer ample avenues for exploration and experimentation. Wailing, shrieking and moaning torment appear to be his choicest methods of delivery; these are frequently layered on top of each other to create a nightmarish juxtaposition against the more resplendent music. I imagine it could be somewhat of an acquired taste for some people when confronted with his style, maybe rather preferring the more standard screams that appear less often.

The music is highly emotive and has an understated epic feel to it. It has a heart that’s twisted and warped though, kind of like Deathspell Omega with added Shoegaze. The music can be quite beautiful, with uplifting sections as well as parts that are more barbed and dangerous. The vocals supply the main ugliness and horror to the music, with the singer frequently sounding inhuman or possessed, adding a disturbing aura to the songs.

This is a compelling release due to the fact that it attempts to do something a little different from the norm and largely succeeds. The ubiquitous blast beats, the gleaming guitar melodies and the corrupted vocalisations all merge together to produce something greater than the sum of its parts.

This is music to become entranced by. Let Animus Mortis lift you up and help you explore the less-travelled paths that they wander. It may seem a daunting proposition, but it’s one that’s worth it.

Tempel – The Moon Lit Our Path (Review)

TempelTempel are from the US and this is their second album. They play Progressive/Post-Black Metal.

Tempel are an Instrumental Black Metal band. Their music is a combination of the Melodic and Progressive styles, giving The Moon Lit Our Path an epic scope and even epic-er, (it’s a word, honest), songs.

Their tracks harbour provocative imagery in the music. Without vocals to hide behind, the music is laid bare for all to see and relishes in the fact. Tempel are as expressive with their music as many singers are with their voices.

This is music that you can get your teeth into; music to get involved with; music to get lost in. Involving, engaging and compelling; Tempel have created a richly textured musical landscape across these 54 minutes.

Tempel are slowly shedding their Black Metal roots. This album still has its fair share of Blackened influences, but less so than their début release. On The Moon Lit Our Path there are more Post-Black Metal and Progressive Metal elements to their sound. It ultimately doesn’t matter, of course, as the important thing is the music itself and the journey it takes you on as you get absorbed by it.

Riffs, solos, leads, atmospheres, moods…Tempel excel at each of these and the songs on this album are filled to the brim with musical content and features.

This album may have a Blackened base but it transcends Black Metal, as Post-Black Metal must, As such, this has a potentially wide-reaching audience and any fan of Progressive Metal can and should enjoy this.