Black Metal from Finland / Belgium
Driven by their affinity for sonic vandalism, Azaghal have returned once again. The restless Finnish institution meets Ars Veneficium, a bunch of newcomers from Belgium, in order to create an output for the underground. Both groups are united under the banner of extreme music and the will to write another chapter of acoustic destruction is omnipresent. Azaghal stay loyal to the ironclad principles of black metal and devote themselves completely to total blackness. Ars Veneficium do not intend to be left behind on the road to perdition. No doubt, in terms of passion and motivation, both bands are not in the mood for shoddy compromises.
I don't think that anybody seriously doubts the massive force of Azaghal. During their long-lasting existence, they did not always deliver top quality. Yet it is also a fact that they never showed a sign of battle-weariness. "Uhri Yölle" flows like a torrid stream of lava. The mainly mid-paced tune thrives on its natural hostility and the mighty production which ennobles the contribution of Azaghal. The band accelerates the speed during "Varjojen Seremonia", but this track is also not exclusively focused on high velocity. Both tunes demonstrate impressively that Azaghal have never heard the term "fickleness". They celebrate their sinister art and that is the best they can do. The dark creatures of Ars Veneficium are endeavoured, but they do no reach the same level of remorseless aggressiveness. The band offers songs with constantly flowing lines that avoid an extra dose of melodies. Nonetheless, one can see the band's ambition to present powerful yet carefully thought through tracks. Unfortunately, both songs leave a very similar scent.
The first song of the Belgian warriors is called "Worship the Goat" and this seems to be the accepted maxim for the entire 12". Especially the misanthropes of Azaghal combine rawness, robustness and cruelty in a mature manner. This "satanic" mixture is crowned by the inhumane voice which underlines the hellish aura. Ars Veneficium are amazed about this degree of bestiality and only notorious liars would say that they are behaving like absolute beginners. Yet they have to acknowledge that the impenetrable darkness and the negativity of their Finnish opponents remain out of reach, at least for the moment. Anyway, "The Goat" will malignantly smile when listening to the results of this cooperation. No doubt, this vinyl is on his slightly carbonized shopping list, in particular because of Azaghal's songs. 80% for Azaghal, 70% for Ars Veneficium, this is his verdict. I do not think that I am a coward, but I dare not to disagree.
1. Ars Veneficium - Worship the Goat 05:03
2. Ars Veneficium - Night Preacher 05:01
3. Azaghal - Uhri Yölle 06:16
4. Azaghal - Varjojen Seremonia 07:09