MISOTHEIST – For the Glory of Your Redeemer (2021)REVIEW

Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because, if there be one, he must more approve the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear” — His flesh I’d ate and blood drank a ransom within me, a curse and a drowned state where I stood. There is no gravity to this mistake, it may be cast aside by the willful mind, at least ’til I might be surrounded by zealous arbiters and forced to choose between shitting away a fool’s easing salvation and remaining knowledgeable or, living soured by this internal poisonous piety which I must shed like plague’d fleas upon all whom I encounter. Glory from the throat of a pious doctrine peddler is a weighted chain upon the psyche applied by the right-handed enslaver of men, a purgation of dignity meant to debilitate the mind before crushing men’s bones of their fighting marrow. What of the feeders, the baptismal agents and the self-appointed masters tainting impressionable spawn? A vampiric force upon all reason is this glorious oppression in ‘God’ and His ruinous society of scrambling (now starving) curs, stinking of where they shit and eat, who walk asleep with an eye and ear always pricked by the radiating light of ignorant salve. Sermons are growling ape-noise at the door of my mind, hysterical lies and obscurant hymns an unquestionable authority among servants without voices and those without the blood-brain barrier enough to thwart the retching fanaticism of opportunistic static hiss. What’d reassemble the hammer, the anvil, and the stirrup is action in antithesis louder than reason that pushes beyond blasphemic tongue to debilitate the righteous half of dualistic matching — A great and simply lain work of devoted anonymity to scour away their “deus deceptor“, a template for legion what Trondheim gifts us with ‘For the Glory of Your Redeemer‘ from the mouths and hands of Misotheist to ease the humors of those indoctrinated by force and recovering. The thousand-necked noose wrings of its necessary bloodshed as this second equally brief defiance raises not as plain sermon but fiercest, fiery obliteration in response.

Though I won’t attempt to crack into what exactly constitutes healthy use of the term Nidrosian black metal or references to the circle as an aged scene, a suggestion of regional sound, or a more general stylistic reference to the sort of band that would play at the infamous Nidrosian Black Mass festivals I will at least suggest that Misotheist appear to be an extension and conglomeration of this spirited Trondheim collective that also shares some features with bands outside of Norway that’d associated within. Though I won’t attempt to speculate who Misotheist are, simply because they’re anonymous and it doesn’t matter, I will posit that if one digs devoutly enough we can take educated guesses here and there; If the intent of these musicians is that they lend no human element beyond the music itself then I am more than willing to participate in the suggested focused witness. What I can say is that through interviews with labelmates and fellow Trondheimar One Tail, One Head, Mare and Whoredom Rife the general philosophical approach that we can consider “shared” is naturalistic in mindset and concerned with extending classic black metal ideology beyond the teenaged/twenty-something naiveté of the early 90’s. Vague and unimportant thoughts on my part but perhaps vitally compared to the growth we’ve seen in artists who’d survived the popularity of the “orthodox” circles centered in Sweden and France in the 2000’s. Uncontaminated ideas reaching sleekest apex in hindsight.

Misotheist formed an uncertain amount of time before their debut full-length (‘Misotheist‘, 2018) released. A debut that’d arrived late in the year as a short ~33 minute gem of a release that was compelling for its atmospheric verve and simple droning appeal moreso than the mysterious nature of its presentation. The hollow drum sound of that record created a thudding basal emptiness that was primarily noticeable on “Beast and Soil”, characterizing the album as a throbbing and unwelcoming physicality but not a necessarily cold Norse event. My point isn’t to harp on the finer points of production past so much as I find it necessary to remark how much the presence and timbre of the drums have changed the depth of Misotheist‘s phrasal profundity on this very different, intensified soundscape we’ve received via ‘For the Glory of Your Redeemer’. The perceived warmth of tone on these three new songs make for most riveting peaks and glowering respite eh, more importantly they allow for stronger harmonization and long-arc’d ambitious melodic feats therein. If you’re aching for the first album’s spatially rendered relation to Celestial Bloodshed or Dark Sonority you might be better served hunting down a copy of vocalist B. Kråbøl‘s recent solo debut as Enevelde (‘Enevelde‘, 2020) for its droning atmospheric quality and similar approach to fidelity. If we are to then approach ‘For the Glory of the Redeemer’ for its freshened merits I’d point to recent records from Sinmara, Ascension and perhaps certain pieces from Mare and Darvaza‘s greater discography(s) as hints of its plumb — Slithering, shimmering, black-scaled and surrealistic movements that hang within the ear with substantial dramatic course parlayed. Misotheist‘s modus tends to be longform and arguably more effectively somber than some of those comparisons might suggest but we are nonetheless lain in their realm of sophisticated songwriting and moving melodic, atmospheric self-extension. Each of the three pieces on ‘For the Glory of Your Redeemer’ offer sublime and potent musical narrative that’ve become inspiring dissociative events in my own experience thus far.

It is the sensation of a creeping-up poison fanged event that hangs in the air as “Rope and Hammer” stirs momentarily before charging and firing salvo after salvo of long, sinuously tremolo’d dread riffing. The acridity of inhuman bile sparks its sulphur from the deeper registered vocal Misotheist present here, menacing but in control and almost knowingly pushing the urgent paced piece toward its bigger breaks, letting loose the grey, clouded cough of this first song. I cannot help but think of the clarity and force of the most recent Deathspell Omega record here, for the presence that audibly growling bass guitar and the clash of downward commanding vocal and fuming chasmic war below create. Stylistically speaking this is rhythmically fluid in its own very different way and what interruptus occurs is for the sake of a dynamic narrative voice the guitar work creates rather than redirection. The bouts of conflicting and/or gloriously harmonizing dual guitar runs we first see at the end of this opener introduce the major voice of ‘For the Glory of Your Redeemer’ which carries into the second piece “Benefactor of Wounds”. Here we’ve struck upon the original source of my fascination with this record, the harmonized and impassioned guitar work here is a flood of melodic grandeur unconcerned with the passage of time. The progression of these interlocking but loosened nigh flittering phrases presents itself patiently even when the song itself appears to be running out of time within it’s ~seven minute length as the roared narrator’s spite details a surreal, biblical horror. The passage between these two pieces is entirely captivating, wondrously repeatable for this sense of progression when treated as guitar music and/or atmospheric directive and to the point that they’d regularly make roughly fourteen minutes of music feel like two or three as I’d spaced out within their trailing on movements. Not since ‘Under Ether’ has a black metal album leapt at me in this way and stuck before I’d worn even a bit of its depth.

To be fair some of this latching on or, actually much of the fealty gained here centers around the effortlessly floated will of “Acts of the Flesh”, a sixteen minute epic deserving of the entirety of Side B that it is granted. A sentimental collapse, burning eyes and rain-soaked ashen sludginess ripples beneath this the surreal heart of ‘For the Glory of Your Redeemer’ wherein the passage of time is yet altered as I’d focus upon the greater statement of the piece and feel it flow downward, blood away from wound and drying in the profound patterned streaks that drip beyond. Callously sweeping sacrificial conjure finds its soundtrack, the screams of stench of it muted as this greater Misotheist-lead orchestration chimes atop for effect. On a more objective non-poetic wavelength it’d be fair to say that we’ve heard this sort of black metal before in shorter and less expressive bouts and the ringing chords fed by a resolute-yet-sorrowful lead guitar melody that make “Acts of the Flesh” thrilling haven’t been invented upon the spot. Their greater impact lies in familiarization with the full ~33 minute length of the album and finding these smaller progressions intensified for a gloriously dramatic endpoint, the clubbing statement as we near the end of the epic poem indicated.

Stirring from abrupt and psychotic carnage into the fading aether of triumphant devastation is ultimately a simple thrill, at least after the mileage of ‘For the Glory of Your Redeemer’ has woven into the mind as the advanced musical statement that it ultimately is. Sinuous is yet the right word for the unfurling of this great scroll, a weaving and numbing revelation of what black metal can be when freed of most (but not all) confines. I’d found Misotheist‘s second record remarkably entertaining on repeat, a fixation I’d return to with greater frequency after each listening session and for longer periods of time without any certain exhausting encroaching. The half hour length allows this unhealthy obsession to form and its details to grow. The compositionally “whole” statement of the piece allows this brief length to make good sense, perhaps moreso than ‘Misotheist’ did for the sake of a more distant and different conviction. It’d been an instant purchase once available on my part, not because I knew it’d fly from the hands of my usual haunts but because the void that hungers for this depth of statement in black metal modality is so rarely as satiated. A very high recommendation.

Very high recommendation. (90/100)

Rating: 9 out of 10.
TITLE:For the Glory of Your Redeemer
LABEL(S):Terratur Possessions
RELEASE DATE:February 5th, 2021
BUY:Terratur Possessions Store
GENRE(S):Black Metal

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