Limbonic Art

Limbonic Art

The Ultimate Death Worship

Nocturnal Art

If Rimbaud decided to play black metal? Perhaps. Opener The Ultimate Death Worship sounds like a particularly enlightened metalhead splicing up The Sisters of Mercy’s “Marian” over old Immortal recordings. It’s a refreshing melding of opposites. Especially when the orchestral bombastics lurking in the background overwhelm the black metal ice. They’re not like typical metal “horror keyboards” — this is an honest-to-god classical orchestra (or so it sounds), lurking quietly like Gollum. An analog keyboard that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Kraftwerk album pops up incongruously at random intervals. In fact, throughout the album, electronics mastermind Morfeus seems to be working his magic on an experimental Brian Eno level. Daemon’s vocals are raw androgynous banshee screams. The track ends with a sample of radio bulletins about a prison execution.

“Suicide Commando” is hypnotic in its repetition. Like an atonal, white noise mantra, with subtle orchestral flourishes and all sorts of vile electronics skittering around, above the range of human hearing. But it can affect the subconscious, I can feel it. “Purgatorial Agony” is just that; one of those shit-scary Coil-meets-Hellraiser sound collage pieces, only overlaid with the vile, vaguely aristocratic voice of Daemon — muttering end-time misanthropy.

“Towards the Oblivion of Dreams” begins with an otherworldly voice warning “Whatever you do, don’t fall asleep.” Many of the background natterings and clatters from “Purgatorial” start to surge and build again until the guitar roars forward. Hundreds of razor guitars, church bells, orc drums and a legion of unholy vocal hosts signal the end of all hope. There is a weird effect where an old church organ is played just as fast as the guitar, it grates against the ears. This atonal struggle forms a bridge in the song. Pomp and circumstance like you wouldn’t believe. Daemon’s vocals are able to come across so convincing and multi-faceted to portray a ruler of dark dreams. Never thought I’d say that…

I can’t shake the operatic feel and expressive yearnings of a song like “Interstellar Overdrive,” Limbonic Art is working pure magic within the aesthetic barricades of black metal, using it as a launching pad instead of a finite dead end — they’re channeling unique artistic impulses. The screams alone are so ragged and pure, unrehearsed. Includes more false endings than The Ninth Gate.

“Funeral Of Death” returns to the more traditional death metal wall of noise/treble attack, though still with Wagner-esque percussion looming. Vocally, Daemon and Morfeus rush to keep up with one another, stomping all over each other’s words. I love it. There’s even a pump organ in there chasing the tails of the guitars almost out of earshot. Ends with the hum of feedback and the crash of gongs.

The Ultimate Death Worship is magical and exciting. Black metal imbued with the adventurous spirit of Neu! Strip away the usual Satan and horror fixations, and instead add an obsession with space travel, Baudelaire, Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, and obsolete technology — and you’ll have Limbonic Art. This is one to treasure. Overlooked. But not for long.

Nocturnal Art Records: http://www.nocturnalart.com • Limbonic Art: http://www.limbonic.com

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