INQUISITION - Ominous Doctrines of the Perpetual Mystical Macrocosm CD
Genre: Black Metal
I've used the term "satanic frog" many times to describe a certain type of black metal vocal style. There's only two people in black metal who do it perfectly, Abbath of IMMORTAL and Dagon, guitarist/vocalist, of INQUISITION. Vocals are not the only thing these two bands share but I'll get to that later. INQUISITION, formerly of Columbia and now living in the Northwestern US, has had a huge cult following as far as the underground USBM scene is concerned since starting out in the early nineties. Fans agree that musically they've simply grown better over the years and one listen to this new one will back up that opinion. In fact long time fans are simply going to be blown away by this. What I find interesting is that this was released late last year, in S. America on Icarus Records and in Europe on the No Colours label, but still found itself on a few widely seen 2010 best of listings. Now with it's official US release there's a "blogger buzz" about it from people who normally don't say nice things about underground USBM. Dagon and his co-conspirator, drummer Incubus, better pull up their coattails before they find a few hipsters standing on em asking for a ride. Then again they could just play em their old records and watch them run away.
Now with all that said this is a far cry from the heathen hate fest which was their second full length, Invoking the Majestic Throne of Satan. On the other hand what their last release, 2007's Nefarious Dismal Orations, only hinted at this one is the full package. INQUISITION has always been know for Dagon's tremendous thrash riffs and recently adding more melody. I've seen them called the new world's version of IMMORTAL in the past and on here it's thoroughly evident the influence that Bergan, Norway band has on them. On the opener "Astral Path to Supreme Majesties" the sound is almost a homage to IMMORTAL and their more recent releases. To me that's not a bad thing since I'm a huge IMMORTAL fan. I just think it's amazing how a band once known as a satanic Columbian black metal death cult is now grim and frostbitten. Even the solo Dagon tosses in three quarters in reminds you of icicles crashing. "Command of the Dark Crown" starts out similar but then slows down to a drone pace with an off kilter riff as if Steve O' Malley walked past the studio. It blast beats it's way to an ending only to bleed into "Desolate Funeral Chant" which has the band continuing the frost covered drone. Dagon suddenly employs a majestic riff that probably caused an avalanche or two. Vocally he progresses from the satanic frog style to ancient mountain troll, either way with the jangly epic riffs it's impressive and scary.
Although all is not simple strumming from frostbitten fingers as heard on "Cosmic Invocation Rites" where Dagon and Incubus bring back the blackened thrash with blasting flourishes and echoing rhythmic passages. After a simple frosty strummed instrumental, "Conjuration", more blistering 90's second wave harshness continues with "Upon the Fire-winged Demon". Dagon brings back the satanic frog vocals and Incubus must be cited as giving a drum performance of a lifetime or at least where Hellhammer would be proud of. Strange part is that the song ends with the same instro which preceded it. The title cut is a return to the earlier style which begot this opus starting with a atmospheric drone of layered guitar sheen and ending with majestic melody. "Crepescular Battle Hymn" is more IMMORTAL worship with some weird voice over sample (?) thrown in stating "this is Asmodeo, Superintendent of Hell". There's more to it and would be great for a voice mail introduction if anyone dared use it. The last two cuts also follow the IMMORTAL path with "Across the Abyss Ancient Horns Gray" invoking the appearance of Abbath's face in a dark clouded sky. I've had this on repeat so it segues perfectly into the opening cut. INQUISITION's use of alternating speeds whether blackened thrash or the crawling mid-pace sequences keeps things on here interesting. It's definitely a great listen with an overwhelming epic sound, an obvious nod to the past and subtle glimpses to their future.