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At the Altar of the Horned God - Through Doors of Moonlight

At the Altar of the Horned God
Through Doors of Moonlight
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 16 March 2020, 9:04 AM

There was no Facebook information about the band, nor anything shared from their digital promo or their record label. Only one sentence…that reads “ritual metal for those who can hear the whispering darkness.” “Through Doors of Moonlight” contains seven tracks. “A Ka Dua” leads off the album, with an air of mystery. The vocal chants are calming at first, but you know something is coming. It lays dormant for a while, like the deep breath before the plunge. Drums begin a steady cadence as it starts to build. Just when you think something is coming, it disappears like a mist in the wind.

“Before the Flames of Undefiled Knowledge” clocks in at over six minutes in length. It opens with some eerie spoken words. The drums build a steady presence, and the vocals turn into chants. “Prayer One” has a more traditional Black Metal sound, with a steady wall of drums and guitars, and thick vocals. It holds steady throughout the song, building layers in the background. “Prayer Two (Oh Glorious Pan)” opens with low vocal chants and a steady beating of the toms. The vocals increase in harmonic nature. Spoken words come into play and I’m convinced continuing the album may result in the summoning of a demon.

“Perdition of the Oneness” opens with more vocal chants. The sound returns to more Black Metal in nature, with vile vocals and a wall of guitars. The chants continue throughout, building layers in the vocals. “Malediction” opens with more of those solemn vocal chants. This seems to be a high feature on the album. In the background, things begin to stir. This time some female chants join in. It reminds me of a scene in the movie Conan the Barbarian. The sound changes with some trippy keys that resonate with the vocals.

“A Circle of Swaying Leaves” is back to that more traditional Black Metal sound, though it is absolutely hateful in its delivery. It’s a fitting ending to an album that borders on the bizarre. Alternating between chanting tracks and more traditional Black Metal tracks you would be hard pressed to find a common theme on the album. But somehow, it works. They have created an album full of frightening and harrowing sounds. The chanting sounds like it comes from the depths of the abyss, and any alteration of the mesmerizing sound could result in drastic circumstances.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. A Ka Dua
2. Before the Flames of Undefiled Knowledge
3. Prayer One
4. Prayer Two (Oh Glorious Pan)
5. Perdition in the Oneness
6. Malediction
7. A Circle of Swaying Leaves
Record Label: I, Voidhanger Records


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