Ocularis Infernum

This is primitive black metal with minimal distortion, a very clear production, but not burnt. Raw may be favored by many fans, including Nazgul, but this disc proves that sliding the scale upwards slightly yields many rewards. Nazgul says he prefers the more raw, simple and harsh style of Darkthrone, Marduk, and Carpathian Forest. The secret is to maintain the chaotic edge of intensity without degenerating into sloppiness.

This is primitive black that shows just how ridiculously pathetic so many ‘primitive’ bands really are. The individual instruments are easily separated in your ears and the playing is precise. This is like reliving the early years of black metal but with real production values. The mastering was done by Dan Swanö, excellent job, book Unisound for the next one. Drumming is a vast improvement over their last album. The drums dominate the mix as well, was this a conscious decision? On Supreme Misanthropy the guitars dominated in the mix, overpowering the drum machine. This time new drummer Fiebig is given the reigns. I appreciate the bass guitar clearly distinguishable in the mix. The song structure is no longer choppy, it is always changing and flows very well. Also, there is pure aggression, mostly missing last time. Blodsrit upstage most everyone with their brand of early 90’s black metal, technically precise without ever being complicated or overly redundant. No frills, no showboating musically, though they are resplendent in their spikes, studs and full corpsepaint. No keyboards, lots of memorable riffs, and fast and faster are the two dominant speeds.

After a few dozen listens the past few weeks, I find myself anticipating the music, a few seconds ahead, in my mind. Nazgul is still the principal songwriter though Saphanoz helps on three songs and Yxmarder on one song. This collaboration is a strength they should exploit in the future. Nazgul has surrounded himself with talent, relinquishing the lead guitar role to Yxmarder and finding Fiebig to replace the drum machine, the search paid off. There is nothing primitive about this drummer’s abilities. These two guys, plus Saphanoz on bass, have pushed Blodsrit to the top of the current wave of black metal. Lyrically, antichristian themes reign supreme. “Dying Breed” exclaims that Jesus is “drooling blood whilst saying prayers.” “Rape of Vestial Purity” says “thy prayers will forever stay unheard” and “Glorious Rise Of The Flames” declares that “all beauty will be found in death.” Picking out a few favorite songs is challenging, but I’ll go with “I Sorg, För Syndens Saknad” and “The Glorious Rise Of The Flames” From 2001’s Secrets Unveiled ep, “Secrets Unveiled” and “Rulers Of The Desolate Lands” make the transferal to this disk, both of which are worthy of inclusion. One half the way through the calendar year, but Ocularis Infernum is all but assured a place in the top ten at year end. Hail to Nazgul, and thanks for the disc.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Grimulfr
June 20th, 2003


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