Released: 2014, Goathorned Productions
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Rising from the dark recesses of Cucuta, Colombia come Black/Occult Metal's Ignis Haereticum. This Black Metal creation sets a mood truly appropriate for the subject matter within the lyrics. The sound could be described as very raw and, at times, sparse but never without
the crucial atmosphere necessary to immerse oneself in the lyrical content. By their own words, the band are "just a channel, the messengers of something much bigger than ourselves whose sole purpose is to spread the word like a plague on the barren land" and they do
so aggressively and without pause. The listener understands rather quickly that this is not a band using symbolism and dark tactics to convince of something that may not be a true belief of the band. The message is truly a message and the authenticity is never in question.
Though there is room for improvement on the tracks themselves, the mission of the band is without question; they intend to inform us of the dark matters at hand.
Going through track by track, there aren't many unexpected changes. The approach is a mix of blast beats, atmosphere, spoken word, desperately screamed lyrics, and sound instrumental work. You will not find the melodies present in some of the more well-known commercial Black Metal bands. You will find the raw, cold sound that was the start of the Black Metal movement. By all accounts, this has no sound-link to Columbia but more the cold embrace of Norway.
The ominous opening track features spoken word that feels like an a prayer before beginning. As soon as track 2, "Mysterium Fidei", launches it's all Black Metal. Blast beats provide the drive and moments of discord around what appears to be the chorus reminding one of the sounds in Rob Zombie's "Lords of Salem" movie. It's all a rather unsettling mix that tends to detract from the atmosphere but it certainly impresses upon the listener that seriousness is afoot here. "Ad Serpentem Tortuosum" is the third track and it opens to a slow march that eventually
yields to traditional expectations of this genre. Track 4, title track "Luciferian Gnosis", really kicks off the atmospheric part of the program. It's largely instrumental but brings in some kind of Gregorian chants in the middle and ends with the dire vocals that deliver the metal.
"Sekhem-Hra Apep" is up next. This 12 minute track is mired in a slow, almost sludge-like sound for the first half before tearing into the speed to close out. This track kind of lost me over the first half and I'm not sure I was saved for the last half by that point. Tracks
6 and 7, "De Sphinge Revelationem Mysterii" and "Exercitatus Spritualium" respectively, make up for lost time with "Exercitatus" seeming to be the fastest track of the set. Fast paced, frenetic drumming and a dedication to overall speed really help the album at this point. To close out the album, "Sic Luceat Lux Vestra" represents a gorgeous instrumental that is reminiscent of the movie "28 Days Later" and its opening scene with this track being much heavier of course. Dialogue guides the listener along as the feedback grows louder in the background. The selected piece assures us that our speaker is "here to set us free" as stated in the spoken word part of the song.
The band explain in their Bio that they are messengers sharing a message to those prepared to hear it. Their desire to spread the word like a plague on the barren land is certainly evident. I'm just not sure if these songs are going to be the vehicle to conquer the non-believers this time. The band do have promise, if not the works, to be able to pull this off. Perhaps they are searching for the devotees of the cause first and in that case they may be on target. The rest of us may need a little more persuasion in the future.