nyseius – de divinatione daemonum (2015)

it seems french black metal is beyond praise. even if you know what to expect, it can still impress you beyond belief. i just came across nyseius’ second full-length de divinatione daemonum and simply put, i’ve been standing in awe of its grandeur for the last few days. there’s no easy way to describe the cold, sorrowful and dark feeling it gives. also, it’s not an easy album to listen to in one go, given its playing time that exceeds the one hour mark and loaded-to-the-brim material.

the classical four-piece band is so second-wave in their approach to black metal. you have the shining piece de resistance, insane riffing. supported by a meaty (yet silent) bassline, you have a strong backbone of a classical black metal structure. and this frees up the lead guitar to sway within the theme as he likes as he throws wandering tremolos, leads and reverb-laden, mildly distorted chords/arpeggios (of new black metal) at your face. through this complex wall of sounds, the melodies occur in front of you. and they are remarkably melancholic, as well as following the overt satanic theme. the vocals by the main man daeloth are rather throaty and double-tracked. you also have operatic / wailing singing here and there. the shifts and complex structuring of themes is further accentuated by abrupt and unexpected tempo changes. and there is my only distaste. the double drum sounds as if it’s toned so loosely that the fast double drum sections sound overtly programmed. not that i’m saying they are, and if not, congratulations to the drummer. that weird sound puts you off only at first few listens, thankfully. as furious as the pacey parts are, slower sections are crawl-on-your-belly-till-eternity painful.

the album, which could easily be divided in two full-lengths, seem to include 3 chapters and an instrumental opens each of them. the prelude “de casu diaboli“ opens in a melancholic tone built by guitar lead and slow 4/4 drumming, which suddenly picks up and gives way to the first chapter of 3 songs, all of which revolve around similar recurring themes. this effectively makes you lose grip on individual songs and continuity. the fourth track “towards the true light” is easily the most sorrowful one with an obvious deathspell omega influence. the second instrumental “lamentation prayers” includes the eerie “woooo” effects and demonic murmur, harbinger of the second 3 song chapter that delves into satanic fury. here, the music is remarkably faster and angrier. it’s like the first 5 songs have all built up for this release of fury. the third instrumental “lucifer contemplation” is a prime example of a classical black metal song, the way it would evolve to be today. the closer “black god ascension” is a nine minute epic, half extremely furious and half slow and sorrowful that bleeds out towards the end.

an exceptional, demanding, painful and tiresome black metal experience. black metal is, as always, glorious.

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