Released: 2013, Mortis Humanae Productions
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
Black metal is arguably “the” most pervasive sub-genre within the entire body of extreme metal. 100 years ago when I was ordering overpriced Mayhem and Burzum LPs out of print catalogs, there was literally two territories across this globe where you could find black metal bands – Japan (credit to Sigh) and Scandinavia (everybody else). Fast forward a couple of decades and you’ve got burgeoning black metal scenes in the unlikeliest of unlikely boroughs. Some good, some not so good, but it’s undeniable the influence that this scene has had on generations of would be musicians. Which brings us to the discussion of Nemesis Irae and their just released third full length, ERADIKATE KAMPAIGN. Hailing from Belgium, the same country that birthed Hercule Poirot and French Fries (trust me, look it up), the quintet has origins as far back as the mid-90s and has been releasing their own brand of stripped down KVLT black metal since 2003. At this stage of the game, I don’t believe that there’s anything new to be done within the context of traditional black metal, and if you go into ERADIKATE KAMPAIGN with that assumption in mind, it’s actually a pretty good time.
ERADIKATE KAMPAIGN features 8 tracks of rumbly, treble heavy and dissonant black metal. Yes, we’re not reinventing the wheel, but we’ve already agreed that we’re not trying to. Listening to the album, there’s definitely a nod to early Marduk and maybe a little early Carpathian Forest in their blood, but the execution is pretty much in step with what you’d imagine any KVLT black metal band to sound like in 2013. The album shreds across its 33 minute runtime pretty amiably, but there are a handful of tracks that really stand apart from the pack. The opening “Karnage” has a really dirty, dirgey quality to it that relies less on speed than and more on the resonance of a few well-placed power chords to tell the story. “666 Reich” is straight out of the Euronymous riff playbook; reminiscent of the vibe I still get from listening to “Funeral Fog” today. But it’s the closing “Putrid Lust” that has me completely puzzled. It’s an outstanding track that was very obviously recorded during a separate session, as the production and mix are a million times better than the rest of the album. It’s an altogether tighter track and more foreboding track, and is superior to its kin in both terms of songwriting and execution. The promo copy I received didn’t allude to anything different with this specific track, but boys if you’re reading this review, pay attention – “WRITE MORE SONGS LIKE PUTRID LUST”.
Save for the few noted exceptions, there’s nothing really head turning about ERADIKATE KAMPAIGN, but it doesn’t have you reaching for the “stop” button either. Nemesis Irae appear to be content with their station within the black metal lexicon, and there’s not a damn thing wrong with that, and you could certainly do a lot worse. If you’re feeling up to the task, check out the Nemesis Irae website for more info about the band and the Mortis Humanae label site for purchase info.