Saturday, December 22, 2012

Reverorum ib Malacht

Reverorum ib Malacht - What Do You Think of the Old God, We Call Him Judas?
Ars Luminis Finis Temporis, 2005
Genre: Ambient Black Metal

1. What Do You Think of the Old God, We Call Him Judas?
2. ...and Bathe in Cold Holy Water

This is something that I couldn’t resist trying out.  If you look at the album title and the cover you will see why I obviously felt I had to purchase this tape.  Yes, this is on cassette, I believe it is only on cassette and most likely will not be pressed in CD format.  To say this is intriguing is quite an understatement at this point.  Do all my readers remember when I said that Blut Aus Nord’s “The Works Which Transforms God” was an Ambient Black Metal approach, well Reverorum ib Malacht take that concept to a whole new level.  This is real Ambient Black Metal as best as one can envision it.

I’ll go over the music first and then try to delve into the concept a little bit; there is not much I can get into so there may be a mere paragraph or two after this and that will be all.  The music is demo quality, but I think this lends to their ambient effect a lot more.  You can’t even distinguish the guitars from keyboards, they blend together in such a fluid fashion that it’s just the same haunting instrument.  The only overly distinguishable Black Metal element in this performance is the drum work, which is strange to hear against such things.  It’s vaguely reminiscent of a Vinterriket approach at points, when he used to play a blend of Ambient and Black Metal as well, especially during the demo days.  The vocals are all clean, chant styled vocals.  This adds to the ominous essence that I believe the musicians are trying to portray on this release.  I feel compelled to reference Vinterriket’s demo “Stürme der Letzten Stille,” but the vocal work on Reverorum ib Malacht is much better in my opinion.  It is all chant based, which enhances the essence, rather than just plain singing.  The tracks increase and decrease in intensity and during the quieter moments they have a very meditative approach.  I have no misconception that this work is an enlightenment concept to a degree.  So, I have a feeling that it’s designed to be a meditative work and have an underlying viciousness to it, which would seem to work in line with their concept.  Musically this is quite interesting and different and both intense and relaxing at the same time so the listener is torn between two feelings.

There are no lyrics printed on this release, so I must discern the fact this band operates on both religious and spiritual enlightenment due to the images and quotes they have within their booklet.  I must confess that I know little about the imagery used within the booklet, so unfortunately I must go with what small fragments of text they have provided me with.  The booklet in the tape is professionally pressed on glossy paper and is quite beautiful to look at.  The first track states that it is “in five parts an exegesis of the prophets, messiah and the Crucifixion.”  So, I am led to believe this is a piece dealing somewhat with a cursory examination of the life of Jesus Christ, and I would say that this band operates from a spiritual mindset since they reference exegesis (I believe it is a typo in the booklet as “exegis”).  You will find a Gospel in the Gnostic Bible called the Exegesis of the Soul and this may be what they are referencing to a degree here.  There are no lyrics here, so I am unable to discern the true meaning behind their works.  However, because they also have a whole page dedicated to this phrase “Roman Catholic Murder,” I will dispense any notion that these musicians are pro-Christian in any form.  Rather the title of the first track appears to be an interest in Christ, not the pro-Church outlook.  For I have said in many religious conversations that Yeshua (Jesus) was not necessarily the problem, but it was the Church that deified him that made it a problem.  Thus we have a pro-advocating of “Roman Catholic Murder.”

The second track is much more meditative in its presentation and under its title is stated “a four piece meditation on the divine presence and the mysteries of darkness and death.”  This is where things get overly meditative in the works and the listener is possibly supposed to reflect upon the meaning of God and why truths are hidden in darkness constantly, which is a reflection upon God, so one may assume that God may wander more in darkness than in the light?  If this is the case then which deity best represents God?  Through meditative works, I believe, there is a line in the booklet that complements what happens when the listener comes out of their reverie; “and rose with a mysterious testimonial.”  I believe this complements the ending sequence quite well as you are brought out of your trancelike state.  “…And Bathe in Cold Holy Water” is a much more ambient based track so it is much easier to get lost in its sequence.  You can hear someone speaking, but that is all, and it’s soothing and questioning, it is as if a lecture is happening, but you cannot quite make it out, so you must guess as to what is being said.  You must lose yourself in the darkness and obtain truth by listening closely.  On the other side of the page there is what appears to be a poem, or possibly a prayer, written in Latin.  I have not translated this and I probably never will, translation of Latin is not a strong suit of mine, but for those who find this to be an intriguing work, I urge you to buy this and explore what is written in the booklet and the images they present.

Overall this is an impressive, intriguing and mesmerizing work.  For those who enjoy being entranced by their music, I highly recommend this.  For those who have a curiosity in spirituality and religion, I also recommend you get this.  I hope one day this band presses their works on a CD format so more in the world will hear their works.  Till then the final quote I have left off of this booklet I have decided to use as my closing for this momentous work.  I think this correctly sums up what they are trying to bring forth to the listening public and that they are trying to bring forth the truth of the Divine, rather than the lies of God perpetrated by the works of the Church.  “Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.  And this we will do if God permits.”  – Hebrews 6:1-3.
un:yes'� % < s Xjq ��k ong “Antalya” has a great part, but it has this terrible spoken word over it about leaving and going to the desert lands and it completely ruins the song.  “Antalya” could have been a really good Rajna song and one of the only mentionable on the album, but it was just ruined by this part.  Jeanne’s singing vocals are even like the older Rajna albums so it could have been very well done, but they decided not to go with that idea.  The other somewhat mentionable track is “Black Humanity.”  This actually starts off really interesting, but later on ends up having far too much vocal layering and kind of messes up the song.  One thing that’s also interesting about this song is it seems to be inspired by the middle-eastern terrorist movement.  The lyrics reference how it’s a bad thing to be hateful and how they have no love and something to that nature, one line in particular says “I’m afraid of the black colour of the world.”  Which got me wondering about how they feel about this review being on a predominantly Black Metal review site?  I wonder if my review and points will fall on deaf ears merely because I support a war on Christianity, so thus I “hate” or am “intolerant” of certain things that I think ruin life.  Then again who doesn’t hate?  Anyway, I swear the opening notes on the guitar for the song “Lost Memories” is directly ripped off from Manes’ “Terminus a Quo/Terminus ad Quem.”  Though it’s interesting to mention Manes in this, since they strangely changed genres too, but they probably should’ve changed names as well.

In the end I was sorely disappointed in this album and I think a lot of Rajna fans will have the same feelings as me.  I know there are some that will probably enjoy the new direction, but this sorely needed to be another project.  This way I will not be left wondering if the next Rajna album will be something I dislike.  I may buy the next Rajna album just to see, but if they play this style on the next album or maybe even progress then I can assure you, I will not be purchasing another Rajna album after that.  This is not what Rajna was inspired by when they began, thus Rajna no longer hold something interesting for me to follow if they continue on with this style.  It’s their music; they can do what they want ultimately, I’m merely suggesting a logical path to keep their fans wanting more, not wanting less.  Rajna fans would easily seek out a side project with both members, so I don’t know what stops them from doing a group under a different name.

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