Review: Moenen Of Xezbeth - Ancient Spells Of Darkness (2018) / From The Bowels Of Perdition

Moenen Of Xezbeth

Ancient Spell Of Darkness

With their interesting blend of proto symphonic elements and the most basic and repetitive riffing imaginable, Moenen Of Xezbeth caused quite a stir in the underground, and rightfully so. Nostalgia is a commodity that’s obviously always in demand, so when a band comes along, with a sound that’s essentially a compromise between the Panzerfaust era Darkthrone and the earliest Emperor recordings, and just enough personality on top to make that entire creative endeavor meaningful, one has no choice but to pay attention.

Ancient Spell Of Darkness is not a collection of songs that are bound to impress, there is nothing original or groundbreaking about them whatsoever, but they are still stimulative in a very particular way that forces a listener to stoop down to the slow, hypnotizing rhythm of the music. It doesn’t matter if one listens to it half-absently, while it plays in the background, or witnesses it with undivided awareness, the perception of the album will end up being pretty much the same as there aren’t any additional layers to be peeled in order to get to the bottom of it. Moenen Of Xezbeth know their strengths, they play to those strengths, their music reveals everything and hides nothing.

Trying to find moments of highly competent musicianship and impressive technical ability in these songs is utterly pointless, as Ancient Spell Of Darkness isn’t about that. It’s about sonic minimalism and alchemy of making something basic and rudimentary feel nuanced, rich in texture and nonrepetitive despite being repetitive. The fact that these Belgians did such a swell job of it literally the first time they went to record a full-length together certainly justifies the optimism that the best from them is yet to come.


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