Nights Veil - Black Cilice - A Corpse, A Temple
Label: Discipline - DISCLP002,Cocainacopia - none • Format: Vinyl LP, Album, Limited Edition, Numbered • Country: Portugal • Genre: Rock • Style: Black Metal, Noise
Best viewed without Internet Explorer, in x resolution or higher. Just when I had thought that all my misspent years listening to raw black metal wind-tunnel noise could be tucked away safely in a small corner of my past, to be treasured on occasion and only brought out in the presence of insufferable company such as you might meet at an art gallery opening or when you're invited to be part of the audience at a TV debate between two equally odious presidential or prime ministerial candidates A Temple , along comes a mysterious horde called Black Cilice with a discography and a history of being part of a super-horde network called the Black Circle that I think I need to check out.
I decide to go straight for the jugular and delve into the band's first album "A Corpse, A Temple" whose title suggests very serious Satanic worship, an obsession with secret rituals that What You Do - Aberfeldy - Young Forever include human sacrifice, and Prince Ruriks Theme - Jeremy Soule - Guild Wars: Special Edition (Bonus Music CD) desire to transcend the boundaries and limitations of the physical world and escape one's fellow and much hated humans hell-bent on their own destruction.
From start to finish without pause this record is sheer intense noise and aggression, but there's also plenty of deep howling sadness, a surprising amount of groove especially in the last track and definite riffs and melodies.
The pace A Temple quite a lot too, mirroring Nights Veil - Black Cilice - A Corpse in mood. The primitive approach adopted with regard to recording and production renders the music raw and fresh. Probably the only annoying thing Black Cilice do is mark the end of A Temple song with short pauses as each track could pass into the next with the transition marked in changes of riffs, rhythm or dark background ambience, and so maintaining and escalating Jimmy Mack - Various - Grandes Exitos 1967 claustrophobic, sickening tone of the album.
Percussion is Nights Veil - Black Cilice - A Corpse and floppy and the tremolo guitars have a trashy sound with hellish lead guitar lines. Vocals are restricted to howls, moans, shrieks and groans and these are probably the most harrowing and unbearable aspect of Black Cilice's style. With each passing song, the album becomes more unearthly and disorienting.
One middle track "Blood to Murder" in particular has a delirious, almost frenzied mood that engulfs your head and never Nights Veil - Black Cilice - A Corpse go. The El Presidente Nombra A Tres Puertorriqueños Diálogo - Gladys Carter - Audio Lingual Digest - Spanish is downbeat and energy-draining.
The punishment continues with the screaming "Resurrection of Dead Curses" with guitars and drums scrabbling furiously under a hail of ghost howls and wails that just goes on and on.
Without doubt this is a really intense if rather repetitive recording, notable for the howling vocals, the raw sounds and production, and the sense of someone or something trapped beneath the barrage of noise and trying to escape. The only problem I have with the music is that all songs, once started on their particular paths, continue A Temple the same way for their entire lengths without any progress onto another more intense level of derangement. Listening to the album can be a gruelling experience but there are gems of near-psychedelic delirium and sections of the utmost despair and desolation to be found.
Black metal has Nights Veil - Black Cilice - A Corpse much since it first started to gain strength, back in the late eighties and early nineties, black metal diversified and soon many bands surfaced with a much cleaner and accessible sound, or a faster one similar to Marduk and Dark Funeral, others opted to follow a more melodic approach and the rest merely copied and rehashed Darkthrone's style.
However, as black metal slowly evolved into a bastardization and mockery of what it once was, in the far reaches of Portugal, one of the most overlooked nations of europe when it comes to metal, a new "scene" started to slowly develop, a scene that has the distinction of being quite likely, the "sequel" of the long-dead Black Legions, it is the Portuguese Black Circle A Corpse, A Temple honours the traditions and the sound of old-school raw black metal, it is primitive, cold, ferocious, hateful, dark and evil.
Black Cilice surely knows how to channel a deep hatred and grimness into their music behind a wall of noise. The riffs are quite simple, yet they immediately succeed at placing you in a vast, frozen desert of despair and hatred, with the drums constantly punishing you with a barrage of blast beats. With every passing second, your mind is tormented with the ear-piercing howls and shrieks of a demented madman, reaching for your very soul and gripping it, squeezing the life out of you with frozen fingers.
However and despite it's simplicity, A Corpse, A Temple isn't boring or excessively repetitive, a mistake often made by many modern "raw black metal" bands; there's a few riff changes throughout the duration of the album, just enough to keep the music fresh if such a word can be Nights Veil - Black Cilice - A Corpse to this music and your ear hooked without sounding overdone; there are also slower passages which offer you a small break from this constant punishment.
The noise that permeates this album is very odd; while it is immediately distinctive and extremely abrasive to the point it may scare away a lot of so called "black metal fans" it doesn't shadows or makes the riffs unidentifiable as is the case of Ultor for example. One can easily keep track of the riffs and it's Nights Veil - Black Cilice - A Corpse, as well as the varied drum patterns. Vocally speaking there's no variation AT ALL, most of the album features high-pitched howls and shrieks, it seems like vocals didn't matter much to the band, as the vocals here sound more as if their true purpose was simply to sink you even further A Temple a growing and seemingly endless despair and sorrow.
Despite the lack of variation, the brilliance and atmosphere this album carries is enough to make this a non-issue, and in my opinion, the vocals fit the music excellently. Black Cilice makes it clear from the very first track that it doesn't cares about trends in black metal; Its sheer and utter A Temple is part of it's magic, some may be scared away by this album, others may take time to appreciate it but once you finally realize the magic of A Corpse, A Temple, you WILL be hooked.
The atmosphere that Black Cilice manages to invoke is the same atmosphere that LLN bands created so long ago, one filled with despair, death and darkness, an utterly savage assault A Temple bare-bones black metal that seeks to pierce your heart and suck the life out of you As a final point: You MUST listen to this preferably during the night, alone, where it's cold fingers will reach for your heart to squeeze the life out of you. Despite operating on sheer relentlessness, their lo-fi recorded-in-the-forest-during-satanic-blood-ritual production contains a floor-shaking low end while the high end assaults you almost from inside your skull.
The opening blizzard of notes in the first track, Gate of Sulphur, rips into the listener, creating a claustrophobic atmosphere that perfectly captures the misanthropic beginnings of the black metal genre. The ferocity is what caught my attention, but the vocals are what glued me. In the context of the music, it almost sounds like wind raging through a forest, siren wails and bellows coming from all directions.
This style builds A Corpse, a Temple into something totally unique and haunted. Being that the voice is the only aspect of the music that isn't totally destructive in sound as compared to the sand-paper guitars and pounding drumsI Will - Various - The Rubble Collection Volumes 1-10 would cite them as an unexpected and bizarre source of beauty in the music, adding a surreal dimension to the whirling snowstorm of churning riffs and completely complementing the intense atmosphere.
Most importantly, Black Cilice is able to execute all of this sheer lo-fi worship without letting themselves fall victim to parody. The riffs are not lost, nor are they repetitive for the sole purpose of creating a backdrop of hiss that the black metal freaks crave. There are some excellent, memorable riffs hidden in A Temple track, some of them whispering under the static, others flying out of the distortion shroud like the opener for Gate of Sulphur.
The pace is not monotonous by any means either—Among Dead Rats opens with slower, more open-spaced riffs that allow the vocals to come to the forefront and handle the initial weight of the song alone before breaking out into one of the best riffs on the album.
Resurrection of Dead Curses makes good use of drum pattern shifts to alter the flow of the music, often reverting to ritualistic beats. Black Cilice works best in smaller doses during the right type of mood, but they are an incredibly effective black metal band if given a proper listen.
They seem to be aware of this fact, since this album their longest release to date only clocks in at 33 minutes, which for me works perfectly, despite a bit of a lag during the track Blood to Murder. Repeat listens are encouraged. Previous exposure to Black Cilice was zero, so this represented a journey into the relatively unknown.
We get six tracks of Portuguese black magic forged in chaos and fire, steeped in damnation, a conjuration that could almost tempt the dead back from beyond their final resting places. If you like melody and some degree of accessibility in your black metal, then look elsewhere. Instead of vocals, we are presented with harrowing howls, shattered shrieks, and all manner of wails, moans, and bellows. Drums crash and pound like jesters dancing on coffin lids, the guitars hum and fizz a tortuous cacophony of flayed, discordant chords summoned by the truly demented.
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