Reviewed: December 2021
Released: 2021, Shadow Records
Distributed by: Regain Records
Reviewer: Neil Langton
Ofermod were formed in 1996, releasing their debut E.P. ‘Mystérion Tés Anomias’ in 1998. The 2 songs on the E.P. formed the basis for the orthodox black metal movement. This really began to make headway in the new millennium when after a hiatus Ofermod released 2008’s full length ‘Tiamtü’. This was followed by 2012’s ‘Thaumiel’, 2014’s ‘Serpants Dance’ EP, 2017’s ‘Sol Nox’ and the posthumous ‘Pentagrammato’, which was originally meant to be the band’s debut album. We continue the ever evolving puzzle of Ofermod with ‘Mysterium Iniquitatis’, Ofermod’s new album, their fifth, available on Shadow Records on 3rd December 2021, distributed by Regain Records. Mysterium Iniquitatis also reunites Ofermod with producer Magnus “Devo” Andersson with recording taking place at his Endarker Studio
A stringed instrumental brooding start to the album on opening title track ‘Mysterium Iniquitatis’ soon gives way to frantic drum beats and guitar riffs combined with raw vocals. The break contains a choir courtesy of Thomas Ericksson (Year of the Goat) and Lars Broddesson (ex-MARDUK) that adds a grandiosity to proceedings. Second track ‘Inax Ya Lil’ starts slow but then ramps up to almost thrash speed, before slowing down again back to the pace of the beginning of the song. The choir makes a return to again add to the dynamic. ‘When the Blacksmith Killed the Shepherd’ is my favourite track , the machine gun drumming adds pace and the slow growls of the vocals are actually quite clear and easy to follow.
The rest of the album continues in this high quality vein, mesmerizing, fiery and furious, but executed with a crispness and finesse. Most of the songs are quite long in length but never boring. Blast beats and a dark, melodic and powerful tone add complexity to the tracks. The album marks the return to Ofermod of two founding members, Belfagor on guitar & bass and vocalist Nebiros for the first time since 2011. The production is spot on for the occult black metal style of the album and the lyrics cover such topics as Luciferianism, Chaos-Gnosticism, Qliphotic Magick and Sitra Ahra. Overall any fan of Ofermod or orthodox black metal: this has to be added to your collection.