De Magia Veterum
The Divine Antithesis

There’s a good reason it’s taking me so long to review notable 2011-albums from Blut Aus Nord and De Magie Veterum; you simply have to be in the right frame of mind and have some mental patience to punish yourself aurally for that long. In the case of France’s Blut Aus Nord it’s bracing for mind altering, transcendental, hypnotic works of discordant art. But, for The Netherlands’ De Magia Veterum you have to mentally prepare yourself for a hellish spiral into sonic depravity and be fully aware that you may return a changed person.

While Blut Aus Nord, Deathspell Omega, Ayat, Aosoth, Nightbringer and a few others (in my opinion Missouri’s own Jute Gyte should be in the conversation) are often touted as some of black metal’s more sickly discordant artists, the fact is: ‘M’ and his two main bands Gnaw Their Tongues and De Magia Veterum deliver some of metal’s most extreme, disturbing and truly sickening, physically repulsive soundscapes.  Even though De Magia Veterum is supposedly the more ‘black metal’ of the two acts, the band’s latest effort, while less sexually depraved and icky than Gnaw Their Tongues,  is still just as draining, psychologically exasperating journey into sonic oblivion. Though lacking the full on orchestral chaos of Gnaw Their Tongues, The Divine Antithesis is still an almost unlistenable proposition that somehow commands your attention and will divide listeners between those that think this is pure unadultereated unstructured chaos and those that will revel in the pure menace and unbridled discordant filth.

I tend to float somewhere between the two as I can tolerate the album in short bursts or moments before bed, where in a state of semi-sleep and headphones, the vortex of noise is a little more subconscious and not fully devouring my ear canal and soul. I say this  because sitting and actively listeing to The Divine Antithesis could be considered dangerous. Like reading some ancient codex, your mind may not actually comprehend the likes of “The Stench of Burning Wings”, “Torn Between Ruins, Faith and the Divine”, notably sanity sapping “Burning Hands and a Crown of Flames” and utterly unfathomable closer “Angelic Deformity”. And as you try to wrap your merely human mind around the strangely hypnotic, shrill discordance and other worldly vocals, you may not actually notice the world collapsing around you, and you realize you’ve actually invoked a angelic Armageddon and the next thing you know you are being sodomized by the archangel Gabriel.

In truth, The Divine Antithesis is one of those releases that just doesn’t seem meant for human ears. It comes across as the  soundtrack to a heavenly war where the vortex of atonal screeches, blares of war trumpets and indiscernible riffs are the screams of battling angels and dying seraphs.

Listen at your own risk.



[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
September 5th, 2011


  1. Commented by: GW

    This release is just a mess. It has no discernible riffs to grab on to. It doesn’t have much of any real construction you can discern. Just a mess.

  2. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    GW, do you like anything?

  3. Commented by: gabaghoul

    He likes Obsequiae :)

  4. Commented by: Chris

    I like Gnaw Their Tongues, but this project just does nothing for me for some reason. For hellish soundscapes lately though, Sewer Goddess’ new live album does everything perfectly

  5. Commented by: GW

    Yeah. I really like Aenaon, Aosoth, Nightbringer, Azarath, Cannabis Corpse, Exhumed (!), Gigan, Hibria, Helheim, Iskald, Infestus, Negative Plane, Nader Sadek, Obscura, Sorgeldom, Tombs, Wolves in the …, and Decapitated.

    Record of the year so far:

    Parasignosis or BiLateral or Azarath. Or something else…

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