De Vermis Mysteriis / Azhubham Haani [Split] (1992)

Sweden’s Angramain’yo was responsible for various, interrelated black metal projects in that appeared in demos during the years 1991 and 1992. They were all rather primitive, clearly eschewing musicianship for musical elaboration on minimalist premises. In, Desentery, the artist appears focused on developing a clear structure for the crudest but expressive phrasal riffs, this flourished into the project for which he is mostly known: Azhubham Haani. The transition from the precursor to the actualized musical goal came in the form of a higher awareness of the ‘sound’ principle, utilizing structures to define areas of mood by variating texture, intensity as well as the vocal tone, the last within limited bounds. Somewhere in this journey we see the appearance of a singel rehearsal take from an alternate project called Daemonius. Contrary to the more dark cosmology of stars and blackened spaces depicted by the music and words of Azhubham Haani, Daemonius would rather attempt to formulate a mysticism of violent naturalism not unlike the spirit and musical approach of Ildjarn, however informed by the artist’s personality. Before serving prison for stabbing a man in the throat, Angramain’yo brought to our world the crown jewel of his underground metal achievements in the form of a veritable dark revelation: De Vermis Mysteriis.

De Vermis Mysteriis appears for the first and last time in a demo split with Azhubham Haani. Once again we see a forking of ideas which feed each individual channel with increased power. The first of these changes can be heard in the tape for a rehearsal that ostensibly took place on September 20, 1992, containing music by Azhubham Haani and Daemonius, which further differentiates Azhubham Haani into a smoother flow, while discharging the more violent impulses into Daemonius. The present split breaks open the tendencies in Azhubham Haani, refining old songs in performance but in a way that we sense they are brought to a final halt in development. That these are relegated to the second half of the two-way split is telling, and in light of the more exploratory and abherrant material presented under the monicker of De Vermis Mysteriis, Azhubham Haani pieces are reduced to a mere commentary, a vestigial remembrance. It is auspicious that this man was interred symbolically and mentally —for no other dark works by him appear after his time in prison— as a consequence of his violent crime. The bloody transgression would seem to come to us as the climax to this series of works, the artist giving himself away after finally opening up a gateway to strange lands and times, evoking sensations from a bloody cosmic aeon, the reign of sin.

And so, we proceed towards a discussion of this largely unknown work of dark sorcery given the recognizably esoteric name of De Vermis Mysteriis. Riffs there are only primitivistic traces of, and the arrangements which are often underpined by a tribalistic building towards simple rhythmic frenzies are given soaring accentuation by the timely intrusion of the synthethizer. The phrases that help emphasize the direction of flows, and which indeed help situate it beyond doubt as metal music, advance at a very slow pace and often in close and repetitive movements that allow other aspects of the music to variate under it. Contrary to standard operation, here we find guitar phrases that function as sturdy pillars of deep blue into hues of dirt brown and yellow and grey, with synths that caress the rest with a transluscent crimson fabric. The drums are then free to improvise within a strict ritualistic function, summoning, beckoning, inciting, instigating. Overlayed vocals become a necessary part of the music as dramatic instrumentation, rather than as typical vocal lines. These sometimes croak words in screechy tones, but most of the times there are desperate screams, blood-curling wails, hushed and guttural whispers, and even demented laughing. Enter at your own peril, revel in the terror of immortality, the will to live deliciously…

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3 thoughts on “De Vermis Mysteriis / Azhubham Haani [Split] (1992)”

  1. Psychic Psych Toad says:

    9:35 has a fantastic impression of a howler monkey!

  2. very cool project. excellent find. will be in my rotation for weeks.

  3. Svmmoned says:

    It had an influence on, for example, Graveland’s darkest period.

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