"In Bondage To The Serpent"

By Dr. Abner Mality

I think it's a pretty safe bet that Nunfuckritual will not be playing the halftime show at the Superbowl this year.

Beyond their childish monicker, I found that "In Bondage To The Serpent" was aided by a second and third listening session. First time I put this on, I considered myself lucky to make it through the whole thing, as I was consumed by boredom and a profound lack of respect for the project. Second and third listening thawed the critical ice somewhat, but didn't entirely melt it. Nunfuckritual has some selling points...just not for me.

The pedigree of the band is quite impressive, as it features Teloch of Mayhem and 1349 fame, Long Dan Lilker of Brutal Truth/Nuclear Assault/etc, Andreas Jonsson of cult Swedish BM act Tyrant and Espen Hangard of the even more underground Altaar. One would think such a combo would specialize in blistering, blasphemous speed but one would be wrong. Nunfuckritual is a virtual doom metal band, but playing a kind of crawling, slow black metal doom heavy with frigid atmosphere. You won't get much in the way of thick, warm, fuzzy guitar tones here...this is absolutely sub zero black doom. Such music transmits a decayed and malevolent atmosphere but not much energy. Not that Nunfuckritual has to play blasting music to make their point, but really, this is pretty dull stuff by the time the final title track comes slithering in.

Although the overall music sounds like its coming from exactly the same place, my subsequent listening revealed some notable touches of difference that pricked up my ears...the injection of somber church organ on "Komodo Dragon, Mother Queen", the creaking and crunching ambient noise underlying "Christokos" and most effectively, the super creepy choir-like vocal effects of "Cursed Virgin, Pregnant Whore". This experimentation adds to the miserable feeling and goes a long way towards making this effort bearable.

But this slow, glacial black metal just does not make an impression with me. The crushing heaviness of true funeral doom is still much heavier than this and the blazing speed of Gorgoroth and 1349 much better transmits the wrath of hell. Nunfucktirual has its fascination but it just doesn't work for this disciple of depravity.