Thursday, December 20, 2012

Ithdabquth Qliphoth

Ithdabquth Qliphoth - Ithdabquth Qliphoth
Thou Shalt Kill! Records, 2005
Genre: Black Metal

1. Matriarchatus Infernus Noctis Daemonecare
2. Orci Ostii Custodus Flammei Fames Aeternus
3. Umbra Morta
4. In Sepulcro Excidio Sol Tuus Pulle Lucet
5. Fons Sanguineus Septenarii
6. Ex Consecratii Sophiam Nigram Emanat
7. Ignis Nomenis Tuis

When I first saw the band name listed on the distro list I immediately recognized the word Qliphoth. Knowing that this had to do with Jewish Mysticism in the sense that it is the plane of existence opposite of God I could not resist purchasing this. I then saw the cover and immediately recognized that as a Sephirotic pattern, but this band dealing with the Qliphoth was no doubt the opposite of the Sephirot. You see in the Kabbalah the Sephirot are the ten divine stations of God. They are the emanations of God’s light into the world and that is the path man must travel in order to truly achieve synthesis with the holy deity. The Qliphoth represent the opposite of this divine order. They existed before God brought light into the universe and are also represented by chaos. However, if one notices the cover of the Ithdabquth Qliphoth album you can see that there are only seven stations here. This might have something to do with the concept that seven is a divine number representing perfection or they just didn't feel the need to print the other three, because that would give away the secret of how man could communicate with this darkness. To delve deeper, the choice of seven could also relate to Jewish lore that there are seven levels of Hell in direct opposite of the seven levels of Heaven. Yes, I’m aware that Dante Alghieri states there are ten levels, but let us not start mixing such vastly different perceptions. The Qliphoth can also be represented as demons in some respects as they can manifest themselves in certain material forms on our plane of existence. I’ve tried looking over the Hebrew that is printed in their Anti-Sephirot sequence to see if I could recognize any of the words, unfortunately I couldn’t. I do not have a very good working vocabulary in Hebrew and this album makes me wish I really did.

Musically Ithdabquth Qliphoth is semi-traditional Black Metal. It’s got a slightly different approach production wise and musically. There are really only two aspects that I didn't really enjoy that much, it used to be three, but one of them eventually grew on me. Using aspects that are derived from Jewish Mysticism I was also hoping that they would have some interesting Middle Eastern passages in their music, but upon finding out they were from Russia I lost all hope in that regard. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the two instrumental pieces on this album were derived from Middle Eastern scale work musically. So needless to say I was pleasantly surprised in that regard. A curious part of the album work-up is that there are separate track listings on the album itself, but there is just one long song on here. You can basically figure out for yourself where certain parts begin and end, but it is a somewhat frustrating point when you want to really try to identify specific tracks. The really cool part about this album is the fact that all the lyrics and tracks are in Latin. I thought this was a very interesting choice since the front cover features Hebrew and the band is from Russia. However, through the Latin words there seems to be words also written in Hebrew, but using Latin characters this time instead of Hebrew characters. Since my knowledge of Latin is only fragmented, I am unable to do a full translation of the lyrics, I would if I could. Rest assured though, their lyrics are demonic in nature, this much I can figure out by looking at them.

The music on this album is extremely harsh in nature, so if you’re someone who desires well produced Black Metal where you can hear every tiny aspect of the album then don’t even bother with this album. The album opens with “Matriarchatus Infernus Noctin Daemonecare,” which I figure means “Queen of the Infernal Night Demons.” The first thing you notice is the overly harsh guitar production, then the under produced drum work, then you hear that the vocals are barely in the recording. Now all of this usually stands for something I wouldn't really be all that interested in, but there’s something about this Ithdabquth Qliphoth sound and the guitar work is just so mesmerizing. I can’t keep from listening to this and getting enthralled with it. One point I do wish was better is the vocal performance. I would love to hear something incredibly sinister in the vocal department for this endeavor. The vocals seem to be either recorded at such a high level or thrown through a distortion pedal that they actually have this strange fuzzy sound about them. It sounds good with the recording, but they're so low in the mix that it’s often difficult to distinguish the difference between the guitars and the vocals. The guitar work is taken from the mesmerizing approach where they seemingly play a riff more than they should and creates a hypnotic feel. Luckily the riffing is actually quite good and has a splendid atmosphere about the work. The drum work, albeit low in the mix, isn't completely inaudible. Like this song the rest of the album has pretty basic standard form Minimalistic Black Metal drumming. Nothing overly interesting to wow the listener, but good enough to keep a person focused on the music.

Now comes the second disappointing part of Ithdabquth Qliphoth which is the instrumental “Orci Ostii Custodis Flammei Fames Aeternus”. This instrumental starts off with the perfect guitar performance. Mesmerizing and enthralling to the listener. You just get lost in the slow paced performance. The listener just focuses on the beautiful guitar rendition being played. Then randomly in the middle of the song it seems a wrong note was hit and just goes into these random strummed chords, which don’t sound overly out of place. But it was as if the guitarist was trying to get himself back on track while he played through the rest of the song. Honestly, I would've just redone the track from the start. The song finally gets back on track and closes with a great finish thankfully. The rest of the album is flawless, but we get an even better instrumental later on in the guise of “Ignis Nomenis Tuis,” which is utter perfection. The Middle Eastern scale work is just divine and exhibits a certain kind of grace to anyone who subjects themselves to this particular track. It more than makes up for the first instrumental even with the screw up. I couldn't help but enjoy the instrumental with the screw up regardless of what happened in it. It’s still really good in the grand scheme of things.

The last parts of the concept to really touch upon now are in the booklet, it says “Recorded beyond the mauve zone outside the circles of time.” I have no idea if they are referring to mauve the color because it’s a purplish grey color, so if they are keeping with the tradition of following the path of the Qliphoth and Sephirot, then the region between the two, the Sephirot being Light and Qliphoth being dark, where they meet would be a vast array of colors and hues. So this might mean the album is recorded somewhere between the two. Another curious point of this album is that this is limited to 777 copies and 777 stands for the number of God. This is curious to me because the album seems to be predominantly demonic in nature. It is a well known fact that the 666 gematria is the number sequence for the Antichrist. They could be taking the symbolic meaning of the numbers in that 777 represents perfection and this release is their conceived perception of perfection.

Despite the small two aspects I didn't really overly enjoy too much on this album, I cannot deny the genius behind the work. This is simply awe inspiring Black Metal and really tested my knowledge of history, the occult, etc to really present an informative review for their work. I hope this is not just some random throwing things to the wind and hoping it comes out with meaning. This appears to be carefully written and carefully thought out material and I highly respect that. Not to mention you get some great music to go with the well thought out project. Get lost in the hypnotic darkness of the Anti-God realm of Qliphoth.

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