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Black Cilice - Esoteric Atavism

Black Cilice
Esoteric Atavism
by Andrew Harvey at 11 August 2022, 2:35 PM

A very raw black metal band we have here from Portugal and it is unclear as to who the members are but I suppose that isn’t too important. What is important is that they can be described as a band who have been ‘diving in the murly end of the black metal pool since 2009’. Furthermore this goes to say that ‘their style is unapologetically lo-fi and gurly. This isn’t black metal with a scratchy sound, this is so thickly covered in goo that at times isn’t even all that clear what the source genre is’. BLACK CILICE they are called and as mentioned before they have been around since 2009 releasing several demo releases to begin with.

An EP came too in 2010 called MORBID ESOTERISM then a year later came their debut album A CORPSE, A TEMPLE in 2011 and this was closely followed up by SUMMONING THE NIGHT in 2013. MYSTERIES was their third album release followed by an EP NOCTURNAL MYSTICISM in 2016 as their fourth album was out in 2017 titled BANISHED FROM TIME. Their most recent release in 2019 was titled TRANSFIXATION OF SPIRITS. Now they have returned with a new album titled ESOTERIC ATAVISM as the year of 2022 is halfway there, opening with the track “Beyond The Veil” sensational fast patterns in guitar and drums.

Vocals are certainly on the brink of losing their sanity as they scream loud and clear. The track itself is a lot to take on so we should try to break down the single elements but we would need to have known the style that black is when it’s opened up and exposed more. “Channelling Old Power” is the next track to come as we advance onwards into this album. This second track brings a newly introduced percussion element knocking and clanging and then this transitions into a pulsating movement as vocals cry out screaming. The atmosphere that is created is a clear symbol of themes of satanism, occultism and death as vocals remain consistent to portray these themes. Drums do make a change again and they do well to make each section of this track as element projects well enough.

Spiritual Poisoning” roars as the vast layers of the sheer, frightening mass chaos. There is a lot of experimentation as drums come in with cymbal hits more often and the percussive element comes in halfway through the track. Onto the next track which is “Atavism Reconnection” is on the cards next similar tastes or sounds do repeat here. A ear ringing sound palette of noises and prolonged vocal notation, as well as guitar that is racing and vocals also giving off the usual themes of sinister and death. Drums even vary later on in the track and slow down so that vocals plus the percussive elements can both return to the fore as they did in a previous track. It feels like vocals are also far away in the sound field and that they don’t play as much of a role as the other instruments do. But they do despite being pushed back, they can be audible.

Triumph Over Eternity” keeps the charge on by a vicious combined assault of all instruments, thrashing and tingling down to push the themes of this album to the point of the sound being seen as more an image than a musical idea. Nevertheless the drums also come down and remain constant or consistent. The showering of guitar and cries of vocals is swinging around and spinning so fast like a wheel out of control neverending as it spins non stop. “Towards Transcendence” as it is recognised with a more prominent guitar line, then vocals shout or gasp and the guitar provides more of a rhythm less hasty so not rushed at all. This is also the final track on the album as we come to the climatic ending but all is not over just yet as the pace is set in stone and the course of direction is very much the same as before.

Vocals do vary a lot more in this track and they are certainly very effective and interesting as well. The atmospheric and exposed sound quality of each instrument like guitar and vocals are more like a sonically thought out track as the album is produced in this way. The results are no laughing matter as the standard is high and thought provoking as well as attacking or electronic perhaps. I would say this sort of black metal is more appealing as there is more of an electric-acoustic approach to the production and arrangement of each track, as I am familiar enough with the ideology of musique concrete, old ways of music making. I did enjoy listening to the album but maybe the vocals could have come more forward a bit, drums could have been clarified aside from that, a good album for those who love hearing the more exposed side of black metal.

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

3 Star Rating

1. Beyond The Veil
2. Channelling Old Power
3. Spiritual Poisoning
4. Atavistic Reconnection
5. Towards Transcendence
Record Label: Iron Bonehead Productions


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Edited 28 September 2022

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