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Moenen of Xezbeth - Ancient Spells of Darkness…

Moenen of Xezbeth
Ancient Spells of Darkness…
by Gareth Beams at 20 July 2018, 2:38 PM

Conjuring the sinister spirits of yesteryear, MOENEN OF XEZBETH rises to deliver its first full incantation of mid-paced Black Metal, “Ancient Spells of Darkness…” with its seven arcane invocations primed to unleash their plague on all who bear witness. Captured with the same approach and under the same austere conditions as its preceding demo and EP, “Ancient Spells of Darkness…” thus realizes the same unearthly effect, yet it is even more sinister and oppressive. These foreboding hymns serve as a conduit for the return of the original black flame, which was first sparked by MOENEN OF XEZBETH’s revered forbearers, has since nurtured itself in the underworld, and is now emboldened to return in its dark glory.
- C. Conrad”

Into the Black Mist” has a dark and coarse vocal sound that fans of EVILFEAST will know all too well. The beat is simple, but it works with the ambience that builds up with the chimes in the background. The pace has a few melodic solos from the guitar thrown in to add a depth and dimension to the song. The sound has a coarse and distorted feel to it, but by no mean unnecessary, as some bands feel that they have to do to be Black Metal. The song holds its own well without having to build up too far and potentially lose itself.

 “Oath of Malignancy” starts in a very similar stance to “Into the Black Mist”, the dark ambience of the chimes keeps the melody in tune from the previous song. There is no real break in pace either, which is good as some songs can be too obverse from another on albums. The vocals are in short surges but weigh in very well into the overall melody. Mid-song it picks up into a frenzy and takes the song into the next gear, with perfect symphony.  The next 2 minutes go into craze and the song erupts, before fading out for the last 2 minutes into a near Funeral Doom-Meets-Sludge approach.

Pandemonial Curse” takes over from its predecessor in the same way as that took over from “Into the Black Mist”. The Funeral Doom approach is still thick in its own melody and tempo. There are fewer vocals throughout, with more breaks to allow the instruments to play and gain credit more. The vocals themselves are short but with a raged passion. The song does not go into as much complexity as “Oath of Malignancy”, it holds its own in a slower tempo, perhaps to allow you to catch your breath at this point in the album

Ancient Spells of Darkness…” has a slow tempo to start off with, almost like its building up to something. The Sludge approach returns to take us the next step, having not really erupted more moving to a thicker beat. The slow pace is once against matched with very short vocal stints. The song progresses into the next few minutes by picking up the pace a bit, but not too as to change the song like we have heard happen in Oath of Malignancy”. The melody is continuous which works well, the chimes return to add a bit more depth to a song that could do with picking itself up.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

1. Intro
2. Into the Black Mist
3. Oath of Malignancy
4. Pandemonial Curse
5. Ancient Spells of Darkness
6. Interlude
7. Obscured by Lunar Rites
Morbid Messiah - All
Record Label: Nuclear War Now! Productions


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