Dagon - In Desolationem Per Nefandum
Fire of Fire
Ritualistic Black Metal
7 songs (44'01")
Release year: 2008
www.cultofdagon.com
Reviewed by Alex
Surprise of the month

As far as promo sheets go, Dagon (Texas, USA) will have you scrambling. In my case I had to brush up on the definition of hermeticism, as that seems to be the stance Dagon members purvey. Not really any form of religion, hermeticism is rather a philosophical system with an emphasis on spirituality and mysticism. The aforementioned promo sheet may as well be an excerpt of Dagon’s lyrics, all shrouded in dark prayer and occult. I am not privy to how much Dagon bandmembers practice what they espouse, but regardless how true they are to their beliefs and how deep their lyrics are, much of it would have been irrelevant had In Desolationem Per Nefandum been weak musically. Fortunately, this is not the case and dark mysterious forces do come alive if one dares to plunge into the album.

From the opening twisted acoustic guitar intro to Sukhavati Inverted-Ensnaring Paths to Bliss and Misery the unsettling ominous feeling descends and remains throughout. From the repetitive tremolo riffs of the opener, through the naked rawness of By Ye Rights of Word and Willcraft, and all the way to the loopy, mesmerizing, whirling Corpus Hermecticum, Dagon delivers a massive slab of ritualistic black metal which should not leave the fans of Deathspell Omega and The Ruins of Beverast unmoved. True to the tenets of the genre there is a middle windtunnel-like instrumental break The Code of Tritheimus and the way overextended catacomb prayer and incantation closer Mind Born Sons of the Sacred Radiance-The Adoration and Conjuration of the Shining Seven. Mystical black mass breaks or not, Dagon does entrance and spellbind all over the album, no matter whether they are engaged in a mayhemic churn (Sukhavati Inverted-Ensnaring Paths to Bliss and Misery), savagely rip the flesh off (Vestiments of Servitude and Devotion) or deliver slower melodic creep which speeds up into an album’s harmonious pinnacle on The Kings of Malice Return to their Rightful Place, my personal favorite.

The band’s vocalist Blood Moon Ausar is a highlight. It is hard to believe that a black metal vocalist can be so multifaceted. One moment he gurgles and vomits (Corpus Hermecticum), the other he is a sinister nightstalker (The Kings of Malice Return to their Rightful Place). His voice can be hanging over your shoulder preaching endlessly into your ear (By Ye Rights of Word and Willcraft). Tortuous, he can either be on the verge of being sacrificed at some dark ritual (Sukhavati Inverted-Ensnaring Paths to Bliss and Misery), or do a 180 and don the dark forces executioner mantle himself (Vestiments of Servitude and Devotion).

If Dagon guitars were given a chance to peek more from this turning cauldron, the impression would have been complete. Yet this is the case only when drums are not full on. When the blast or double bass dominates and cymbals crush endlessly, Dagon’s string section tends to become drowned. It is true that for many incantations you need only voice and rhythm, but the intensity of the rites is much diminished when guitars fade. The awesome The Kings of Malice Return to their Rightful Place is a prime example why they should not.

With Bahimiron, semi-Mexican Obeisance and, of course, Absu, Texas black metal is growing to become a force to be reckoned with. Dagon is another worthy bullet in this menacing holster.

Killing Songs :
The Kings of Malice Return to their Rightful Place, By ye Rights of Word and Willcraft
Alex quoted 80 / 100
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