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De Praestigiis Angelorum
October 2015
Released: 2015, Agonia Records
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: UK Team

With all three members of VI old bandmates in both Aosoth and Antaeus, it’s no wonder that some of the traits of those two niche French black metal bands have been carried over to this new act, which is releasing its first full length album after a well acclaimed EP and split release with Aosoth. Despite the Latin album moniker, all track titles on De Praestigiis Angelorum are in native French, carrying national identity with the three piece’s distinctively European sound, which on this album, is the result of five year’s work.

Whilst VI retain the ritualistic rouse of black metal’s traditions, this is a modern album packed with exciting and contemporary ideas. INVRI’s guitar work is dynamic and varied, with the avant-garde utilisation of harmonics in metal, vast open-chords which nod to Emperor’s In The Nightside Eclispe, and a wall of Immortal-style cold noise created by relentless tremolo picked riffs. Vocally, he is not the most diverse performer, with a putrid sounding howl, but a monotonous one at that. It is really drummer Blastum who impresses most, living up to his name with almost supernatural speeds and dead-point consistency in his blasts.

During the more melodic moment, VI’s sounds of devotion are pure yet grandiose and beautiful. Yet with the more discordant ostinatos comes a sickening energy of paranoia and misanthropy, a trademark which has helped the band stand out over previous releases. Samples play a subtle yet successful role here, creating diabolical atmospheres from which the blitzkrieg of black metal emerges fiercely and passionately.

Having obviously grown in the eight years since their formation, VI are carrying the flame ignite by Aosoth and Antaeus with a band well worth paying attention to. This artistic and icy exploration of a genre which is continually adapting to survive is one which marks the establishment of another divine BM act, and an album which is sure to appear in the end-of-the-year lists of many underground connoisseurs. Highly recommended.

Review by Jarod Lawley
Track Listing

1. Et in pulverem mortis deduxisti me.-
2. Par le jugement causé par ses poisons.-
3. La terre ne cessera de se consumer.-
4. Regarde tes cadavres car il ne te permettra pas qu'on les enterre.
5. Une place parmi les morts.-
6. Voilà l'homme qui ne te prenait pas comme Seigneur.-
7. Il est trop tard pour rendre gloire. Ainsi la lumière sera changée en ombre de la mort.-
8. Plus aucun membre ne sera rendu


INVRI - guitars and vocals
BST - bass
Blastum - drums

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