Limbonic Art
Opus Daemoniacal

Early in their career, the Norwegian duo Limbonic Art was close to being mentioned in the same circles as the likes of Emperor, Arcturus, Borknagar, and such. Their 1996 debut The Moon in Scorpio and 1997 follow up In Abhorrence Dementia, were heralded as near classics in the symphonic black metal genre. However, the band broke up 2003, but reformed in 2006.

But after 2007s Legacy of Evil, Morfeus, who was then responsible for the band’s keyboards (as well guitars, vocals, etc), left Vidar “Daemon” Jensen┬áto go it alone, and he did for two albums Phantasmagoria (2010) and Spectre Abysm (2017). Both saw Daemon strip down Limbonic Art to a more simple, riff-based, less symphonic black metal project, with virtually no keyboards, and the results were a bit underwhelming, as it was clear Morfeus was a key component to the band.

But with his third solo album, Daemon appears to have found a bit of a balance between simple, scathing, riff-driven black metal and just a few different elements that keep it more interesting than the last 2 underwhelming albums. Sadly though, there are very little to no symphonic elements.

There are riffs abound, with pretty relentless pacing throughout as Daemon’s more striped-down riffing is rooted in classic second-wave black metal, and delivered with a fervor that’s been missing for his last 2 albums, but has just enough other elements to keep it from being dull.

The close-to Dark Funeral/Marduk-ian intensity starts from the get-go with “Ad Astra et Abyssos” with shrill/fierce but melodic tremolo-picked riffs galore, a few ‘Wiking’ choral injections and overall a sense of creativity and urgency Daemon has lacked.

The quality continues for the second track “Deify Thy Master”, a more varied number and some unhinged choirs added. However the album’s shortest cut “Consigned to the Flames” is a bit dull, doing nothing memorable at all, but “Vir Triumphalis” delivers the goods with some ritualistic chants amid the complex blackened savagery. that continues for “I Am Your Demon”; a pure, blistering black metal that could be a Marduk song for its first few minutes.

The last 2 songs “Wrath of the Storms” and the 12-minute “Ars Diavoli” end the album on a strong note with the former having a strong melodic lead riff and the latter finally adding some slight symphonic elements and choirs again, and riffs that recall the band’s early days.

A nice comeback after 2 average to OK efforts that shows Daemon has some ideas left yet, and a surprisingly demonic opus indeed.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
July 8th, 2024

Comments

  1. Commented by: Jay

    I had really liked “In abhorrence” back then (still listen to my tape copy from time to time, haha), bought “spectre abysm” some time ago but was a bit underwhelmed. This new one sounds promising, though. Thanks for the reviews! \m/


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