Origin: Athens, Greece 🇬🇷
Genre: Black Metal
Within the depths of the European black metal underground, past a glaring mainstream surface where legendary bands like Mayhem, Rotting Christ, Gorgoroth and Azaghal usher in those whose curiosity for the black arts has surpassed their ability to hold back any longer, you’ll not only discover black metal in its olde Devil-worshipping rawness, but also in its full-blown occult-inspired glory. For many fans, their journey down the Left Hand Path comes to a halt just past the gate where the aforementioned titans of the scene dwell, but for others, “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas” was but an opening of the first seal.
Deeper still into the underground past the Napalm Records, Season of Mist and Prosthetic plane we go – souls aglow now under a diabolical radiance – into the rarely traversed chasms of the genre where labels like Signal Rex, Invictus, Iron Bonehead and WTC Productions cast their destructive emanations upon the scene. It’s here where there burns a blacker flame and a deeper passion for the spiritual side of black metal as shared by covens such as Ofermod, Mortuus, Serpent Noir and Thy Darkened Shade. These esoteric collectives are all tied to one another in some way and all share similar bonds with the occult: Chaos-Gnosticism, Anti-Cosmic Satanism, Qliphoth, Kabbalah and Draconian Current being the driving forces behind their music – black metal as a vessel for black & red magicks. On January 10, Greece’s Thy Darkened Shade, through a blood pact with World Terror Committee, left a new and an even more worthy offering upon Lucifer’s altar in “Liber Lvcifer II – Mahapralaya”.
Within “Liber Lvcifer II – Mahapralaya”, an epic luciferian journey awaits – one where the paths to freedom and wisdom are illuminated by the crisp light of the Morning Star. In what I assumed was going to be a true-to-form Hellenic black metal album, I found instead a record that transcends both style and heritage. This is total genre-spanning black metal: wicked, ritualistic and mystifying yet pulsating with raw Satanic energy. And no, it’s not an homage to the second-wave or a further throwback to the first. Those types of records are being released by the dozens each week, and they all basically sound the same. Definitely not the way to honor The Lightbringer. Epic BM in the form of enrapturing spells like “Sacrosanct Pyre” and “Into Eerie Catacombs” with their perpetual shifts in tempo, elaborate compositions and teeming atmospheres are more like it. Both cuts sounding as if they were created in a trance state – beyond rich and impossibly complex: chants, snaking progressions and a vast array of flamboyant rhythmic cadences echo urgently off into the hemisphere of this newly-discovered realm. No real rhyme or reason to it – that wouldn’t be the Luciferian way. A musical path to enlightenment with surprises around every corner has been lain before you instead. Before “Liber Lvcifer II – Mahapralaya” comes to a close with the deeply ceremonial “Typhonian Terrible”, you’ll take in the unfathomable “Noxious Witchery of the Titans”. A level of elegance, imposition and intensity in sound akin to the output of bands like Iceland’s Helfró or the now-defunct but still legendary Absu to be experienced.
Definitely not a bunch of musicians who decided to dick around and form a “Satanic” black metal band here. For these artists, the crafting of BM is a deeper-seated and a more personal endeavor. Albums like “Liber Lvcifer II – Mahapralaya” offer a very rare look into the world of the occult as provided by those who generally have nothing otherwise to say about their esoteric ways. After all, if they went around blathering to everyone about their practices, it wouldn’t be occult anymore. Liberating, illuminating and utterly captivating, “Liber Lvcifer II – Mahapralaya” will without a doubt transport you to a higher spiritual plane if only for a little while.
Experience “Liber Lvcifer II: Mahapralaya” by Thy Darkened Shade right here as presented by WTC Productions: