Reverorum Ib Malacht – Im Ra Distare Summum Soveris Seris Vas Innoble (2018)

The present album sees Reverorum ib Malacht moving towards more concise expressions of their by-now established sound and style. While now we see less of the separation and experimentation of approaches in instrumentation that circled around a definite sound and concept, the same are no condensed to concentrated moments and particles in the more standardized texture of black metal consisting of drums, guitars and vocals —with the important addition of synths and some programming. The end result is nonetheless highly differentiated and very much in line with the spirit of the project, as the implementation of the elements is dragged to functional extremes so that we find a music that is more accurately defined as dark ambient utilizing black metal “samples.” The vocal performance is again the central element in a musical expression of the dark side of a heretical “Catholicism.”

Succeeding where Deathspell Omega failed catastrophically, Reverorum ib Malacht leaves behind all trace of instrumental orthodoxy, implementing a futuristic take on black metal that is both natural and potent. The tone of the instruments is artificial through and through, but this is precisely what works in favor of the aggressive ambient approach to composing somewhat abstracted black metal compositions. As the band moves towards a sense of unnatural alienation, an unnatural and unfamiliar artificial quality to the instrumentation is not out of place. The style and approach, in contrast to previous ventures, is consistent throughout, except for the last two pieces in the album. The impression that is at times intense and highly suggestive of altered states of mind and alien intrusions, but overall the impression left is easily digested, soothing, and ultimately rather inoffensive.

On the downside, Im Ra Distare Summum Soveris Seris Vas Innoble lacks the immersive pensiveness of their De Mysteriis Dom Christi (2014). The latter took its time and no element stood out as incongruous in spite of the different selections of instrumentation taken to supplement the needs of each piece. The former may fail at trying to bring together more into a denser space, finding themselves in the need to insert elements that are too active for the pace of the music, or too alien to the chosen style. To be sure, Reverorum ib Malacht finds itself at its most awkward when attempting to elaborate on the guitar, but whether this is out of a lack of acquaintance with the instrument or simply the result of poor taste, one cannot affirm beyond a shadow of doubt. In all fairness, these things only occur in the last two tracks before the outro, with the rest of the album being measured and directed in its pointed use of guitars to underscore an intense flowing line [1].

Many a modern satanic music project tries eschew the issue of ‘genres’ by playing the most generic possible version of whatever comes out of their system, in doing so they have assumed a self-excusing, vague nominalism [2]. Reverorum ib Malacht has instead abstracted themselves from the instrumentation and genre tropes by seeking to make use of the sounds in ways that reflect back at them the stark darkness of their inner epxerience. However, the instruments are still played traditionally, what changes are the precise riff formation and the direction and extension of flow. Drums are played like drums, but at programmed high speeds, reduced to a layer of texture of a different material, complementing the soothing synth that soars above the distortion and the voice. Consistently entertaining and coherent in its intent and realization, this album falls short of a full artistic proposition because it never goes beyond the formation of texture and the tactis of shock.


[1] For utmost enjoyment of the present album, the listener is suggested to erase or skip the rather pointless tracks titled “Skin Without Skin” and “(Natten inuti) en tagg som sticker mig en ängel från Satan som misshandlar mig (2 cor 12.7ff).” Once the album is played through without them, everything seems to fit perfectly in place.

[2] “Nominalism denied the real being of universals on the ground that the use of a general word (e.g., “humanity”) does not imply the existence of a general thing named by it.”

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