Monday, April 14, 2008

Corpus Christii

Moribund Cult

This Portugese black metal coven (of one, frontman/mastermind Nocturnus Horrendus - and whatever acolytes he can snare) Corpus Christii is finally getting a domestic release on this, their fifth album, courtesy of the Moribund Cult. And man, they don't fuck around when it comes to sifting through the sands of endless internnational black metal bands to find the noisiest - Dodsferd, Hacavitz and now this! "Rising" is an inspired piece of tornado-fast black metal overkill - the album gallops along at a neck-snapping pace, whilst still remaining thrashily good (despite no pandering to the pit, if you dig me), with occasional shifts in timing and tempo that only serve to solidy an underlying feeling of uneasy nauseau and tension in every black/red note. The guitars are low-fi and primal, but in contrast to other underground black metal sound fucking huge when backed up by a beefy fucking rhythm machine (check out the homicidal swagger at the beginning of "The Wanderer" for all the evidence you need). Thank god Horrendus knows that you don't just use a fucking bass guitar to double the guittar line, that shit shudders and punches you in the stomach. There's a sense of urgency and inspiration behind the performances on this album, there's no posing, no wish to be in a scene - that reminds me of Angelcorpse and Glorior Belli and Carpathian Forest - solid-state violence par excellence. And those vocals! Horrendus lets loose with a raw, almost clean shout/bellow that imparts much more conviction in i's almost human comprehensability, spouting out long freeform litanies of indignities and blasphemies like some sort of deranged cleric or a metal Mark E. Smith, before it metamorphosizes rudely into a Fenris-aping shriek - yes, we do like.

You know you're in for a fucking good throwback album when it starts with a full two-minutes worth of choral performance to set the appropriate air of solemnity. But then it's straight on to the buzzbomb surge of "Stabbed" and from there on it's pure misanthropy-o-rama. "Blank Code" is an excellent self-mutilation soundtrack, switching up surging waves of nervous guitar riffing to detuned harmonics and distant public address system vocals that devolves grandly into staticky, atavistic fury. "The Wanderer" starts out with a strutting, steroid arrogant riff that just oozes assured violence, and halfway through hits a great atmospheric guitar line and from there switches to a mournful wall of sound that just oozes resentment.

There's sickly, punching-yourself-in the mirror stemp of "Torrents of Sorrow." "Evasive Contempt" is full of cold and majestic riffery, but the sound itself warps and bows uneasily. "Untouchable Euphoria" is power-mantra metal, where long verses of are unfurled over one monolithic/monomaniacal riff but then he swtiches it up with a total rocka-rolla secion in the middle, before contemtuously discarding the while thingt. Ace! "Revealed Wounds" crests and thunders on a wave of mutilation like a Satan-enthralled Sonic Youth. Blood on the walls. Blood on your arms. Blood in your throat.

- Matthew Moyer

No comments: