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BLACK CILICE engulfs with a howling density found on “Transfixion of Spirits”

Within the genre of black metal, one which emerged, exploded, and has erupted again, a seemingly unkillable entity, there still lies a pit of utter blackness contaminated by the true and bitter underground plague. While many bands within the subterranean chasm are marred by single weak releases that are doomed at birth, there are eternal bringers of pestilence among them, Black Cilice is a project that reigns eternal in the true underground.

Boasting a hefty discography now 10 years in the making, the still unknown entity is unyielding in the pursuit of true darkness. Deeply shrouded in mystery, all details of the man behind the project are completely hidden, creating a self contained mythos and enigma that gave birth to black metal; it is a force that manifested itself upon the earth – not a creation of mortals. After a 2 year silence, Black Cilice unleashes their fifth full length upon the unsuspecting pawns of his diabolical design. Those epochs seem to have been spent in fruitful meditation on Black Cilice’s sable craft, as Transfixion of Spirits is a complete metamorphosis of his sound. Building upon the songwriting of 2017’s Banished from Time, far away are we from the primitive growling dusk of earlier releases, giving way for a transcendent new sound.

Right from the starting track, “Darkness and Fog”, a trained ear can already pick out the exultant melody, veiled behind a thick smog of cavernous production that completes the atmosphere. Deep within the cryptic mists lies a deeply structured and layered inflection, the boundless rhythm guitar section echoes into empty space, fettered by wisps of guitar leads and the ever sublime bass that unexpectedly begins to take center stage within its hymn like chants, carrying the melodies to a sublime amalgamation, each piece emulsified by the ghastly howls of wind that are the vocals.

“Maze of Spirits” takes on the feeling of claustrophobia almost immediately, bringing you down from the heights of the clouds to the darkest recesses of the earth. The mid section reveals a dirge that is reminiscent of dark dungeons, but with the atmosphere of the spectres that haunt it, intangible and fleeting. “Outerbody Incarnation” returns you right to the lofty world of spirits, filled with malign riffs and otherworldly wails, while “Revelations” wraps up the album in a dark and reflective finale that stirs the evil that sits deep in the hearts of all men.

Although only 4 songs, each is a protracted epiphany replete with grandeur, all cloaked by a shroud of supreme twilight. Black Cilice continues to show why the true underground will never cease, its relentless craft driven by empyrean forces. Hypnotic and all enveloping, Transfixation of Spirits is a ghastly triumph amongst all impostors to the black arts.


IRON BONEHEAD PRODUCTIONS is proud to present BLACK CILICE’s highly anticipated fifth album, Transfixion of Spirits, on CD, vinyl LP, and cassette tape formats.

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Obscuritae Review

Obscuritæ: AMNUTSEBA “I-IV” demo compilation abolishes form and warps black metal time

Year over year, the endless stream of incredible releases seems to increase exponentially. This output has grown from a manageable list of records to check out and eventually buy, to an impenetrable living force that no one in their right mind could ever hope to keep up with. Easy to miss something. This is why we present our readers with Obscuritæ. Consider it our “in case you missed it” article series to shine an ascending light upon the dark recesses of forgotten gems. New, old, contemporary, ancient: there are demos, EPs, splits, and albums that seemingly everyone missed out on, under-appreciated, or just didn’t receive the sufficient hype they so greatly deserved. We’re here to fill you in … because you probably are missing out.


Early 2017 saw a relatively unnoticed and objectively obscure black metal demo release on the requisite cassette format, containing tracks I, II, IV, and V, from a relatively unknown origin. With its members concealed and the source of this metaphysical scourge being hinted at solely by its French origins,  the only dissemination came through US based and internationally represented underground label, Caligari Records. The dark reverie of Amnutseba was left unrestrained from the context of its creators to besiege the mind with portentous gloom, as one descends into the shadows of their grasp.

Another year and another mysterious demo later, Iron Bonehead Productions put forth a compilation of both “demos” I and II from this French enigma, spanning tracks I-VI. Though, as indicated, one can hardly consider either to be of demo quality, other than perhaps the mix and master, rather than that of a complete and well arranged EP or even album quality composition. Amnutseba – with writing and execution that are generally not as complex or exactly equivalent – allude to some of the disjointed sounds, atmospheres, and foundational tendencies emanating from the smoldering ashes of Aosoth or of Deathspell Omega. Combine that with the influence of the precursor waves of black metal and the psychedelically coloured black metal of bands such as Negative Plane and you have entered a realm that is on the same atmospherically dark and disjointed wavelength. Yet, somehow keenly aware of traditions of waves past, the listener can follow their sound from its Norwegian origins to the abstract outer-reaches of current avant-garde black metal.

 

In the context of two separate demos, it has one wondering how these ethereal, yet cerebral, compositions were conceived and how they were intended to be released, if there was such an intent to begin with. Each song stands on its own, and each demo has found its own voice. But it’s not until experienced in their final order on this compiled release that they truly take the form of a complete work, rather than a somewhat constrained idea expressed on so-called “demos.”

For those who remain rooted in black metal no further than the grey area following the second wave in the mid 90s and find the current avant-garde black metal that emerged from the French scene in the late 90s to be taken to an indigestible extreme, yet still yearn for some semblance of the off-kilter riffing and atmosphere influenced from bands like Portal and the obvious comparisons to their French counterparts, this isn’t a release to be overlooked. Despite being a rearrangement of six songs over the course of their initial Demos I and II, Amnutseba’s abstractly transmuted shroud of caliginous, in its final compilation form, sits firmly among the best releases of 2018. With its lyrical intent appropriately constrained, this demo compilation is the perfect vessel to send you to the void of your agonizing self-inflicted psychological demise.