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Abhor - Rituale Stramonium

Rituale Stramonium
by Lior “Steinmetal” Stein at 22 February 2015, 5:41 PM

Deeper into the veils of darkness and the echoes within the barren corridors of ancient gatherings and circles of vehemence, with as much as filth as imaginable to the human mind, I went knee deep into the shallow graves of Italian Black Metal atrocity. I was looking for blackened enchantments only to be a witness to sacrificial carnage of light, moaning voices of ache and the desperation of the spirit. The veteran Veneto residents of ABHOR, unwillingly, invited me to their mysterious chants of Satanic praise, and for a limited time I became one with their second wave Black Metal heritage encased, after all these years, to their sixth martyr, “Rituale Stramonium”, via Moribund Cult Records, bloody, enflamed and primitive as it can possibly be. Trust me that as much as I desired for a pure blackened pleasure, this daring experience was rather painful to endure.

Disbanding any trail of melodic menace, this burnt offering appeared to be focused on no less than the shock of the ritual, the evilized image of true underworld terror. The similar emphasis took its toll throughout the tracklist of the album. “Rituale Stramonium” is ruled by the atmospheric hold of the keyboards, which I have no idea who orchestrated as it was never mentioned, rather letting the rest of the instruments have a say. Often, the material sounded more like chants out of a ritual rather than songs, especially if you would notice the monotonic music and dull arrangements that are stiff as a corpse along with the muttering and blabbering of Ulfhedhnir. Changing tones didn’t really help him much on several of the besmirched hymns of doom; however, he is played his part as a conveyer of a memorandum, even if barely distinguishable. For one thing, these guys did have the knack to open their songs with incredible intros, nice riffs enabling that chilly feel of a wintery forest where the souls of the damned cry out. Nevertheless, afterwards, I bit myself in order not be jaded. As a plus, the addition of effects and samples á la the echoes of moaning women and men sacrifices, and possibly a preaching satanic priest scattering his blessings, embroiled with the mayhemic keyboards, actually made it a little interesting, but I wasn’t there for an audio horror movie. I was there to listen to Black Metal, and it simply wasn’t it, even by old school standards.

Free of the vocals, if I could recognize those as such, “Rituale Stramonium” might have been adequate to a certain horror movie production where possession is involved. It is hard to relate to this effort as an example of what a veteran band can do as I believe that ABHOR might have other things in mind. Here and there they modeled true Black Metal spirit with that akin brutality and straightforward morality, yet sunk in quicksand several moments after. Next time around perhaps.

2 Star Rating

1. Between Flames and Moon
2. Diabolus Est Qui Id Invocate
3. De Exorcismis Et Supplicantionibus Quibusdam
4. I…The Witch
5. Soul's Poison
6. Circle Of Stones
7. The Chant Of The Owl
8. Wine Of Sabbath
9. Requiem For Errans Infernorum
Kvasir - Bass, Guitars
Domine Saevum Graven - Guitars, Bass, Vocals (backing)
Ulfhedhnir - Vocals
Record Label: Moribund Cult Records


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