Usurpation of the Seven

Anmeldt av Jens Nepper
(Immortal Frost Productions, 2020)

Karakter: 5/6

ARS VENEFICIUM Usurpation of the Seven album cover.jpgThe Belgium-based black metal entity known as Ars Veneficium is one that yours truly is quite fond of and it is always a treat to review and listen to their outputs, a perfect example of that being this brand new full-length assault of theirs evocatively titled “Usurpation of the Seven”.

In the past I have drawn parallels to acts such as Triumphator, Panchrysia, Enthroned, and Marduk with respect to the style and aura of Ars Veneficium's music and that more or less still rings true with respect to their latest slab of malevolent and sinister black metal. There is clearly an emphasis on huge melodies with a sense of satanic grandeur to them and despite the relentless intensity and bombast of this nine-track offering, it is in actual fact quite dynamic. Hellish and fast-paced parts? Check! Oh, you want slow, crushing section that will pulverize your skull too? No worries, Ars Veneficium have got that covered as well. Whereas its predecessor, “The Reign of the Infernal King”, boasted more rawness and possessed a more urgent and immediate vibe, “Usurpation of the Seven” comes across as a more focused and disciplined affair. The riffs are strong and memorable, the vocals are convincing and perfectly tailored to the music, and the disc retains both its unpleasant atmosphere and momentum from beginning to end. Nothing new or original is presented here as such, but what these skilled fuckers do they certainly do very well. The production is solid too and captures the powerful sound of the band nicely while also being sufficiently refined and balanced so that all the instruments and textures and whatnot come to the fore and are very much present in the overall mix.

“Usurpation of the Seven” is a high-quality black metal record that is as effective as it is well-played, and whether you are a fan of 90s black metal or some of the more present-day releases that fall into the orthodox black metal category, chances are that you will dig this vile musical curse.

Album highlights: the majestic “De Luiaard Heerst” and the face-melting “In the Fires of Eternity”.


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