Band: Altar of Perversion
Title: Intra Naos
Label: The Ajna Offensive
Release Date: 15 April 2018
Format reviewed: Digital Promo
There are artistic works that are characterized by being complex and remarkable, and that achieve the public’s empathy because they contain certain characteristics that make it stand out. But there is another class of artistic work, which does not appear with much assiduity, and which tends to stand out for being the fruit of a vision charged with exacerbated courage. I refer to that excessive ambition that clouds some artists and impels them to create something indivisible that defies all norm or logic.
“Intra Naos” is one of those works, product of the feverish minds of the Italian musicians of Raw Black Metal: Altar of Perversion. And it represents the return of the band to the scene, after almost 12 years of not editing new material. A true statement of principles, and one of the most interesting musical challenges that the underground could give us this year.
We are talking about a double album, with just 3 songs on each of the albums, although with durations ranging from 13 minutes to 25, in the case of the most demanding. Even with the risk of performing a Raw Black Metal work that transgresses all the canons of the genre, “Altar …” manages to keep the listener interested, concatenating a series of structures that rely heavily on the most climatic aspects of the genre, without becoming Atmospheric Black Metal, or including Ambient or Drone passages, generally associated with long duration works.
The first track is “Adgnosco Veteris Vestigia Flammae”. The first epic, of more than 20 minutes, and which also constituted the whole EP, of the same name, launched in 2006. The band, in this way, proposes a fusion between its past and the convictions of its present state. Technically we witness a maelstrom of changes in rhythm, tremolo technique and dissonant chords that attack incessantly, at the most critical moments, or begin to decant, slowly, until forming textures that ferment in a hypnotic miasma of highly lysergic proportions. Literally, it is like entering a parallel dimension, totally losing the notion of time and space.
Probably an effect sought by the two musicians involved in the project (Laran and Calus), since its magnanimous worldview also has a strong conceptual connotation, closely linked to the magical and esoteric practices of Pan-European Satanism and the eccentric doctrine of the Order of the Nine Angles. According to the artists, the extreme practices linked to these doctrines are what influenced the nature of these compositions.
“Intra Naos” is undoubtedly a work loaded with symbolism, with an important occultist concept and with an exhibition of sound ideas that can represent a great challenge for the majority of the public accustomed to more conventional Raw Black Metal acts. However, I consider that its transgressive nature gives it a transcendental value rarely found today. Clearly, it is a work done with deep emotional connections and that aims to leave an imprint on a plane that transcends the merely earthly and futile. A great work that tries to understand the greatness of the nature of all things. 9.5/10 Sergio