"The Fleshly Tomb"

By Octopi Mills

This is a new album which marks the return of the Moonblood vocalist Gaamalzagoth, who does music and vocals, and is paired with the Demoniac drummer. This in itself makes for a legendary, cryptic display, but even the best cannot capture what once was, so I had to see for myself...

And it is clear within the first songs that not only could this album have been made twenty years and more ago, but that it sounds just as if nothing had ever changed, and this is something special, folks. Azaxul had made some demos and such before, but this sees the band with a better production, though not even in the sense as most will think. This is something; the way they retain that old sound, but with new vaulted means....The songs sound as if they were recorded in a crypt or family burial vault and they make astounding use of the atmosphere in the studio in ways nearly all others fail, and fail they always do...and I wonder if it were not in fact recorded in a old dungeon beneath some ruined keep; it has that power. 

The bass is audible and a somber, spectral entity to itself- it is done well and makes one appreciate this often smothered instrument, as if a hound beneath a terrible muzzle has been released. The guitars are epic and well strung, and make it seem as if devils are flying through the air; painting hillsides with electric,dusky dark, and dancing like shining swords with the moonlit artifice of some spectral world. At times they harness a pattern as was in Moonblood; a Darkthrone "Transylvanian Hunger" influence, surely, though more complex and intricate, and it is quite a sight to behold. The vocals are some of the best ever in black metal, surely, and sound more like a monster than a human. They are tortured and theatrical, and sound as if the man is completely possessed by demons or has joined the solitary rank of undeath. The production of the album summons strange nightly fogs in reverb, and makes the whole thing tattered as the rotten gown of some skeleton as it dances wildly in the winter funeral of life itself. 

Perhaps these are some of the best vocals ever done in this genre, and they never grow dull and rather they recount dark poetry done in the manner of a master at his own craft. The sounds that come from this man are very wild. At times the guitars are happy and epic, like little imps in some old painting of yore, but always seem to bring forth a deep, medieval feel that is pure evil. There are some Moonblood songs re-worked here for good measure, and this could have been a Moonblood album to even the ears of the elect. The Satanic feeling here is something that goes beyond most of today's attempts, as it seems too real to behold. Most men are like little boys, and their music is akin to the older collector of hot rod cars in that they are still simply little boys in a never never land, but here we find something disturbing with the boys in question...

As one looks at the man' s cover art he has done and likewise the music in other projects one sees the deep obsession with death and the darkest of visions.  The music itself is orthodox, but never left its post from the time it found its own sound, and it is a novel sound taken from the old style, yet made with its own seal and stamp. As the man arse-holed on rum who ran the bar at Crow Crag said to Withnail: "You could never disguise it."  How interesting it is that the old nearly or all Jewish book of the Goetia has come to life with so many bands with the names of legions of demons leaping to life from it's pages, and it surely makes me wonder as I stare into the vast imaginings of antiquity in the vineyard of thoughts.

Though I find myself moving away from the negative influences of this rotten old world, I must give a credit to this music at this time because it is the most passionate and true thing I have heard not only this year, but in years.