Released: 2004, Galy Records
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
Montreal’s Magister Dixit deliver quite an interesting mix of black metal and storytelling on their Galy Records debut, INFERNAL MARTYRISM. This is not raw black metal in the vein of Darkthrone or early Immortal but more along the lines of newer Gorgoroth and Marduk or what PROMETHEUS-era Emperor was doing. Interestingly, the majority of the lyrics were written in 2000-2001, with some dating as far back as 1998. The vocals are growled and shrieked but the guitars deliver some melodies atop the lightning fast blastbeats. Breaking away from tradition, the CD is also well produced without sounding slick or Pro-Tooled. The band also throws out a clean vocal here and there as well as some acoustic guitar. The booklet shows the band wearing corpsepaint and covered in blood, so they are definitely a nasty bunch, but they also aren’t afraid to challenge themselves or the rigid boundaries of black metal.
“Souldrilled to Infernal Martyrism” dabbles in a brief clean vocal and also contains an acoustic middle section before once again launching into an electrifying dual guitar showdown. “The Stone Has Spoken…” is one of the band’s epic stories and for some reason reminded me of “A Fine Day To Die” by Bathory due to the vocal patterns. “The Hunchback” is an entirely acoustic song but with W. Solstice’s gurgling black metal growl making it the most interesting track because of this unconventional pairing of sounds. “Hyldeon’s Destiny (The Curse of Azagath pt. V)” is pure unadulterated black metal and continues the saga of Azagath that began on their last CD, ANDAR AND THE CURSE OF NASAGATH. The introduction of Maiden-esque guitar melodies on this track really opened my eyes to exactly how far “outside the box” Magister Dixit is going. The classical samplings that open “The Mitigon Race (The Curse of Azagath pt. VI)” impressed me even further. The album closer, “Join the Circle of Eternal Thoughts…,” also experiments with slower tempos, strong guitar rhythms and more clean vocals.
Whoever wrote the handbook of black metal must have forgot to tell Magister Dixit how things are done because these guys deliver interesting, well-produced and (most importantly) well-written songs. The blasphemous nonsense is left at the door in favor of folk stories and mythical characters which is also a welcome change. For a chance of pace in the black metal arena, give Canada’s Magister Dixit a shot.
KILLER KUTS: “The Stone Has Spoken…,” “The Hunchback,” “Hyldeon’s Destiny (The Curse of Azagath pt. V),” “Join the Circle of Eternal Thoughts…”