It still amazes me, even 2 years later, 3 Russian death metal dudes (all three are in the HM2 worshipping Wombripper) delivered one of 2021’s best black metal records in Eminence.  And it still stands up there with label mates Véhémence as Antiq Records’ very best releases and bands.

Well, the follow-up is finally here, again broken up into ‘chants’, though this time there are 6 instead of seven (though the album is about the same length). But again, it’s a brilliantly furiously melodic take on layered, triumphant medieval black metal that is for fans of the aforementioned Véhémence as well as Carathis or  Sühnopfer.

Starting with “Azure Mockery Chant” and ending with “Prurient Flamboyance Chant” every track is an absolute scorcher of a number with little respite (the last moments of “Ominous Bravure Chant”  transitioning to the acoustic start to “Opulent Sepulchre Chant” being one of the few) in the chaotic, but still shimmering and rousingly harmonic assault. Vocalist Konstantine Koralev has a deeper throaty roar that’s off the beaten black metal path, and adds a little more roughness to the proceedings, while Ivan Markin is at times, mind-boggling in how busy yet still melodic the riffs are.

It all comes together for some ‘hard to air guitar along with’ brilliance (pity Guitar Hero isn’t a thing anymore, this would give Dragonforce a run for their money). I mean right out of the gate with the staggering opening arpeggios of “Azure Mockery Chant”, then follows it up with the initial punky sway of “Rhapsodic Annoyance Chant” (which turns into an absolute monster of a track later on) and then you get the stunning “Stubborn Zeal Chant”. its all so close to being overwhelmingly busy, but those shrill, triumphant medieval melodies (i.e “Opulent Sepulchre Chant”) keep you hooked if only to see where the song goes next.

Closer “Prurient Flamboyance Chant” is a standout track- the little melodic explosion around the 1:42 mark is just delectable and promotes immediate grim face and air guitar/bass playing. Then there is another fucking, different, but equally killer one at 3;18!.  it ends the album on such a gloriously high (and sudden) note and is one of my favorite albums of the year.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
August 8th, 2023


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