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Ossomancer – Artes Magicke Award winner

Artes Magicke
by James Brizuela at 09 October 2019, 4:54 AM

OSSOMANCER, a duo black metal group from California, bring their first full-length release in “Artes Magicke”.  There is an interesting melodic/groove type element that exists in OSSOMANCER’s style that makes me like them a great deal. Their style of black metal is heavy, but it is not overly brutal. Not that there is anything wrong with brutal black metal, it’s just nice to hear a differing style every now and again.

They also have the vile black metal vocals down, but the vocals to me present a much clearer sound than most black metal outfits. Mostly because Kamose enunciates. There is a great deal of respect I have when a rough vocal style is understood easily. While listening to “Artes Magicke”, I found myself just grooving along with the melody the entire time. The album brings this refreshing flow. The opening track, “Necromancy”, presents that groove perfectly. It is not only the groove of the album that made me appreciate the music of OSSOMANCER, but the perfectly placed musical nuances as well. There are these small instrumental interludes that are perfectly placed. “Aeromancy” has two instances of these interludes.

 They don’t throw off music whatsoever. It is just a head nod to the musical prowess that this band presents. I think what benefits OSSOMANCER in having this almost rock and roll styled black metal is that no track sounds the same. Each track has a differently melody that makes you bang your head in a completely different way. Even the silly almost 80's styled vocal break in “Chiromancy” fits perfectly in the grand scheme of this album. What follows is this off-setting vocal softness that leads right into the heavy melody of the track. The tempo slows down to a beautiful guitar medley to cap off the track.

That’s why the style of OSSOMANCER is so refreshing to me. It is all these musical elements blending with one another, but in a very competent fashion, that makes me appreciate the depth of the album. Even in the thematic elements of the songs, I found myself impressed. “Hydromancy” brings the atmospheric sound of rain falling. There are some angelic sounding whispers that add more to the sound profile of the track. There is just so much to appreciate sonically in “Artes Magicke”.

OSSOMANCER delivers a well-rounded first outing in “Artes Magicke”. There differently styled black metal brings many musical elements to be appreciated throughout the entirety of the album. It is the perfect duality of heavy and melodic music coexisting. I promise you’ll bang your head to this one.

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

4 Star Rating

1. Necromancy
2. Aeromancy
3. Scapulimancy
4. Chiromancy
5. Hydromancy
6. Pyromancy
7. Geomancy
Kamose – Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Keyboards
Futhark – Drums
Record Label: Pacific Threnodies


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