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Ancient Moon - Benedictus Diabolica Gloria Patri

Ancient Moon
Benedictus Diabolica Gloria Patri
by Chris Hawkins at 09 September 2019, 9:38 PM

When one thinks of all the ways the moon holds court over the earth from its celestial position, it is truly baffling.  From the way waves crash upon our beaches to the heightened state of disarray that occurs when the moon is full, there is an undeniable effect that this supposedly natural satellite has on our planet.  The ancients knew well the power of the moon and planned their societal activities from planting to festivities to religiosity around its waxing, waning, and various positions.  This long held enigma was certainly the impetus for the multinational project made up of members from Belgium, France, and Switzerland to take the name ANCIENT MOON.  “Benedictus Diabolica Gloria Patri” is the band’s second full-length and will be out September 20, 2019.

This new album from ANCIENT MOON is a behemoth of a record.  As it is comprised of merely two songs, or parts rather, the album flows more like a symphony than a standard Metal album.  It is, however, to the greater benefit of the overall arch of darkness that encompasses this composition.

The music first truly grabbed me around the 4:37 mark of the first part.  After a brief interlude, a cascade of sound is pummeling as it incessantly, irrevocably consumes one’s very life force.  It is like sonic, psychic vampirism as if beyond the digital one’s and zero’s, some illustrious grand mage is pulling one’s strings.  The darkness is not just palpable but can also be felt pervading the room and manifesting itself all around.  One cannot dare to escape its virulent, vitriolic grip.  The incantations emanating from the low, dusky, and gruff vocals only further this state of rigid suspension.  Gradually, melody enters the fray presenting a faint light of hope.

The guitar tone is rich and blends well with the bass and keyboards to form a singular, homogenized symphonic sound.  Do not be mistaken, though.  This is definitely not watered-down Gothic Black Metal or DIMMU BORGIR-worship but rather, an elaborate, misanthropic vision further realized by its sonic density.  The instrumentation is, in effect, like a tidal wave that ebbs and flows throughout the album.   The effect of this is all-consuming.

The key ingredient to the album’s success is most certainly atmosphere.  A great example of this is the extended keyboard interlude at the end of the first part.  With a prominent organ track and some sound effects, a formidable air of foreboding is achieved, one to raise the very hairs on the back of the neck.  Also, after an instrumental introduction for the second part, at the 1:24 mark, low chants are emitted.  One can only guess as to what is being uttered by the Gollum-like speech, but the overall effect is chilling.  It perfectly sets up the advent of brutal blasting and dissonant, angular guitar riffs.

Benedictus Diabolica Gloria Patri” leaves a marked impression.  One feels almost as if having accompanied Dante and Virgil on their hellacious tour through the Inferno.  Undoubtedly, that is the exact atmosphere and feeling the band was going for.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Benedictus Diabolica Gloria Patri Part 1
2. Benedictus Diabolica Gloria Patri Part 2

J - Bass, Keyboards, Vocals
B – Drums, Vocals
O – Guitars, Vocals

Record Label: Iron Bonehead


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