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Conjuring – Universus

by Dave "That Metal Giuy" Campbell at 01 March 2022, 11:16 AM

CONJURING is a Black Metal band based out of Switzerland. Their EPK did come with a bio sheet, but it was in German, so I have no idea what is says. They must be a relatively new band to boot, as they were a newish entry on The Metal Archives. “Universus” is their debut release, and contains eight tracks.

“Intro” opens the album. It’s a short, mood-setter with spoken words and eerie clean guitar tones. “Universus” begins with slow, harrowing tones and a sound that is Black Metal, but not the overly screechy kind. The drums pick up into quadruple beats but the vocals are hard to hear in the mix. They take a back seat to the evil guitar rhythms, which is unusual in the genre. “Cult” is the second longest on the album, opening with more slow and scary sounds. The vocals are just a little more discerning here, but still take a back seat to the evil, droning guitars. Some eerie leads mix in as well.

“Abraxas” is, of course, is a word of mystic meaning in the system of the Gnostic Basilides, being there applied to the Great Archon (megas archōn), the princeps of the 365 spheres. The song is reflective of the mysticism contained therein…spooky and lumbering guitar riffs, pounding bass, and heavy drums. The sound drops off a bit after the half-way mark to let the evil soak in, and finishes on more gloomy tones. “Medicamentum” begins with an extended instrumental sound with some changes in pace. Snarly vocals kick in close to the half-way mark, and that droning, mesmerizing sound continues, amped up with more fluttering bass drum kicks.

“Black Sun” is just a bit shorter, again with that slow, grinding pace that will eventually wear you down, dragging you into the bowels of the earth to find out what horrors await you. “Into the Dark” is another pounding assault on the ears. Through a set of harrowing riffs and quad-time bass drum kicks, and some eerie leads, you are led through a path that gets darker and darker, until the light is finally snuffed out for good. “Qi” closes the album. It opens with easy, docile tones, and you think you are safe for just a few moments. Vocals ease in and the evil starts to build. It drops for just a moment before returning with distorted lead guitars moving to the end.

Overall, I found the album to be quite inventive for the genre of Black Metal. Too many artists just rest on what the forefathers did and never think to change that. CONJURING are a different breed, as is shown on “Universus.” The way the vocals are presented is perhaps the biggest difference between them and thousands of other Black metal bands out there. That, and they attention to quality songwriting, as well as the “opened-up” production value. If you are looking for something a bit of the beaten path when it comes to the genre, look to this album.

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

4 Star Rating

1. Intro
2. Universus
3. Cult
4. Abraxas
5. Medicamentum
6. Black Sun
7. Into the Dark
8. Qi
Record Label: Kernkraftitter Records


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