Released: 2015, Nuclear War Now! Productions
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Ill Omen stand for me as the forerunner of occult themed Australian black metal. The band has certainly had an interesting career, and the nine years overlord IV has been keeping his project alive is presented here on the band’s newest compilation COMEPNDIUM MELIFICARUM – ESOTERICA.
Compilation albums are something I tend to avoid unless they’re of rarities, b-sides, or if I just can’t find any other releases from a band I want to investigate. And as I’ve only heard one other release from Ill Omen, this compilation has everything that chronicles where the band began and how they got to their current position.
There’s plenty of raw black metal here for anyone who enjoys the buzzsaw of a guitar and machine gun drums like: ‘Insidious Talons of Aeshma’, ‘Abomination of Flesh’ – which sounds almost like white noise; and ‘Adroned in Garments of Pestilence’.
‘Bury Eden’ elves more into doom metal territory and made my spine tingle. ‘Sentinels Beneath a Heaving Earth’ is slow but aggressive, but a nice atmosphere is prevalent across this whole compilation. Meaning that anyone who likes their black metal to have an atmosphere, but not falling into the areas of dark ambient will enjoy this release.
For the old school fans, the album ends with a very scratchy and vicious cover of ‘The Return of the Darkness and Evil’ by black metal godfathers Bathory. It’s nice to see more tributes being paid to Quothon who pretty much invented the black metal scream.
Review by Demitri Levantis