The Fire Cult Beyond Eternity
Developing steadily with every new album, over the span of almost two decades long existence, Onirik have now come to the point where ignoring them would imply missing on something truly remarkable. The Fire Cult Beyond Eternity sees the craft they have been perfecting for so long now evolving into something more than just a craft, it has clearly become a signature artistic expression with its own internal merits, principles, ethics, sound and vision.
At this stage of personal research, the band’s sole member Gonius Rex seems to have found his own musical language, that borrows from the vocabulary of the late ’90s Abigor, mid ’90s Emperor and the late ’80s Voivod, with a few traces of Deathspell Omega thrown in for a good measure, and melds all those influences into something unique that transcends them individually and gives birth to a distinctive new aesthetics.
To say that he was alone in this venture wouldn’t be fair however, with Dirge Rep and Semjaza lending a helping hand and contributing not only to the quality of the actual performance, but to the overall prestige and credibility of this release, by pouring some of their own personal reputation and eminence into it.
Guitars are obviously the pivotal point of The Fire Cult Beyond Eternity the rest of the music revolves around, with their almost traditional lead/rhythm guitar dynamics, largely uncommon in the contemporary black metal. The guitar clinic in Assigned To The Inexorable Flames, for example, is the best possible example of what this album is about in that regard, but the truth is that no single riff here feels inferior or out of place, let alone the entire song. The musicianship is so busy that one might feel almost suffocated by the sheer amount of music at times, as if there’s just too much going on in some of the songs, but fortunately there’s no such thing as too much of a good thing, and having to struggle with The Fire Cult Beyond Eternity in order to fully absorb it and process it is sweet suffering indeed.
Production-wise, even though not everything sounds clear, everything is still very audible, even the bass lines. The first impression about the sound of the album is that a bit sharper and clearer production could probably work to its advantage, yet the immersive quality of songwriting renders those thoughts unwarranted literally halfway through the opening song Cult Beyond Eternity.
This album doesn’t need anyone to praise it, give favourable opinions or speak highly of, it does all the heavy lifting by itself. Outstanding stuff, and surely one of the best black metal albums that have come out this year.
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