Woodcut Records, 31.01.18
I thought it likely that Lord Of Pagathorn was a new addition to the Finnish black metal scene, but not this time.
The band had a short-term engagement in the nineties, between 92 and 95. During these years, they left a single demo and a rehearsal tape behind as testimony.
After 25 years on ice, the band again picked up the threads in late 2010. After demo and EP, the time was finally ripe for the first full-length in 2014.
Just 21 years after the first demo.
I missed out on the debut album Nekros Philia. Which leads us to the present.
As soon as the band has trawled through a quick and alright acoustic intro, drums and distorted guitars slams in. Although “slams” might be exaggerating slightly. The music might be both black and evil, but it is also rather airy, moody and sore. The drums offers speed, but ends up a bit behind the guitars in the mix. The guitars, in turn, ain't the very sharpest I've heard. They conjure up an adequate sensations of a kind of proto-, or at least retro-approach. The guitars, in turn, are drowned in shrieks of spiritual pain of the soul, gushing out of the bewitched primeval forest.
We almost have to return to ye olde Burzum, or Abruptum's psychotic De Profundis Mors Vas Cousumet, to find a similarly cutting vocal form. With a plentiful amount of echo, the vocal sounds extra devilish. This excels, whilst still fitting well with the instrumentation, creating something larger than the sum of its individual ingredients.
It must be emphasized that the song material contributes to this. At first listen, my scepticism concerning the compositional value of the riffs was a bit tepid, but Lord Of Pagathorn gradually arose, like a bristling cat. The music came alive. The opener Evil To Destroy Evil must be mentioned. This wicked hymn to Satan is full of dim atmosphere. Ending Throne Of Lucifer sounds very different. Yet, the same words are still applicable. Even if every single song don't stands out significantly, or offer other moods than pure adversarial, devilish and antagonistic disgust, most songs have their own identity, and the general level of quality is high.
Nine minutes long Rise Of The Celestial Scythe is in the middle of 9 songs and 44 minutes long Daimono Philia. Here, the synthesizer gain entry, and the moods are really allowed to romp. The album is recorded and mixed by L.L. of marvellous Desolate Shrine, and mastered in Virtalahde Mastering. The sound is fiery as red hot glowing razor blades. Vinyl enthusiasts has to wait until February 28th. Everyone else can cultivate their passion right away. Rating: 5
As before, we're served four songs of approximately ten minutes each.
Among the previous releases, I have the greatest taste for the self-titled EP. And I can say with complacency that Chiliad Rite follows in its' resounding footsteps. Each tone hits as a massive sound wave. Each resounding surge is transmitted as futuristic sonar pulses, which monitors and registers our movement, and is used as sonic weapons to keep us at bay and prevent revolts.
Chiliad Rite gives a feeling of involuntarily bowing down to the sovereignty. This reigning regime is composed of an elitist collection of mysterious, unreachable and untouchable rich swine presiding from the shades and shadows. This obscure league rule with an iron hand, but they are impossible to track down. Impossible to reach, to resist or to overthrow.
This feeling of dystopic cyberpunk, or steampunk, is not representative of the actual lyrics. This mood of disempowering, characterized by indifferent arrogance from above, and unforgivable bitterness from below, is purely subjective. A weighty sense of hopelessness and tied hands will nevertheless rest on your shoulders and hold you down if you should be so unfortunate as to open the gates to Chiliad Rite.
As mentioned above, the sound is resounding, but the resonance can unfortunately be excessively thunderous. The dynamics are low, and clipping occurs. The speakers in particular struggle to avoid distortion in Obliterating the Extinguished. A song that also has an atmospheric touch of Asia, that I kind of recognize from the song Chime, from the first EP. A delightful song, yet with exaggerated compressed dynamics on just DR5. The sound in Ars Magna ain't quite as intense. Just devilishly dark. When the rasping guttural vocal compete with the bass on resonating deepest, there's not a whole lot of jolly moods throwing its roaring echoes in the catacombs. Rating: 4
Anesthetize Productions has printed CDs, while Jani's own Death Shrine Offerings has pressed handmade vinyl in a limited edition. Do visit the good old fashion proper homepage of Horizon Of The Mute, as well.