EGREGORE – The Word of His Law (2022)REVIEW

Vigilance adversus — An unerring phronesis channeled in consort with hand-carved azoth and ink-stained stones of Abrasax ‘sorceles the mind with clandestine intention as we crack open and print the final seal upon unbound pages of black-luminant papyri, this freshly scrib’d tome screaming alive at the touch. Magick and mythic exposition in the form of scene and spell cast by ordo Egregore arrives in psilocybe-shaded visions first, feats of ossicle-tendering aurum built from irrational arcane candor and guttingly elysian sprawl arrive second. Their premiere release from hooded anonymity, ‘The Word of His Law‘ presents a thrashing occult death metal devotional with a serious-faced, madness-blinded bout of frightening third-eye contact assailing the listener. Informed by ancient underground sympathies, an early black and death metal commiseration thriving within thrashing uncertainty, yet drowning the temple-sized girth of nowadays production values with the impossible to disseminate curl of their own smoke — these shadowy fellowes achieve undeniably soul-harrying cultic mania as if by second nature.

A window into the expansive possibilities offered by personalized occult magickal inspiration delivered by pseudonym’d individuals, whom are likely based out of the fertile Vancouver, Canada underground, ‘The Word of His Law‘ has all manner of moon-mirror’d insight to yank from its thousand-armed, hundred-voiced first corpse but really, the obviate and up front appeal of this record is its goddamned riffs. Delivered in a communicative yet dramatic fashion which should naturally recall the bar risen in the hands of groups like Absu and Nocturnus, the thrashing speed and intensely detailed black-death gnarled technicality of opener “Howling Premonition” calls from the pulpit as if their major zealot leadership were reading from an out of print Regardie edition in Mike Browning-esque tenor, seeping into various Eldritch tangent in reach of StarGazer-esque bottlenecks of ripping speed and aghast multi-track vocals. Matching the razor-glinting of their elaborate riff runs with pure heavy metal style, a sort of Agatus or Zemial-sized epic heavy metal refrain somehow squeezes into the greater ambrosial gust of the piece as it floats past and storms off. Of course I am already sold, even from the first listen, well before the whip literally cracks and the thrashing death crawl continues with “Exfiltrating the Triangle”. This first half of the record is barely fifteen minutes long yet they’ve found a certain density, a potency of idea in motion which serves a level of craft worthy of a hundred more runs-through.

From the outset, or, the first pass two things are self-evident: First, the pieces comprising Side A here are delivered with a fastidious and yet entirely inspired handle upon the riff and its potential to flood the mind with all manner of similarly inspiring chemical release, it is an infectious and energetic connection made to begin with. Second, the brevity of this record is a point of great impact as I’d naturally felt some insane compulsion to re-listen and hope these lucid points of redemption would sink in deeper, last longer. Side B contributes heavily to this addictive trait within doubly long pieces which emphasize the other side, the atmospheric realms possible within this harried framework of tradition rewritten. Did they go too far, though? “Libidinization Of Will Azothic” is of course striking for its eventual break into commune-chanted mid-section and finale, surrounded by a blustering mad composition delivered as if it were in response to the dynamically twisting seeker found within records like ‘A Merging to the Boundless‘, ’til they slow down a bit, at least. “An Address To Abraxas” will either be a mood piece, intelligent spacing for repeat listens, or filler to bulk out a 12″ release but that’ll be your call. I’d felt the full experience was well-served, thrilling on repeat and provided just enough space to contemplate, breathe, and re-devour.

Egregore play what is perhaps one of my favorite styles of extreme metal music and with great skill, there’d be no denying the otherworldly resonance of ‘The Word of His Law‘ as it coursed through me. It did admittedly help quite a bit that the final render credited between engineer Cam Mesmer (Spell) and mastering from the equally indomitable Xavier Berthiaume, makes for a professional and readable experience with brilliant attention paid to the level of the drums and the atmospheric reach of the guitars vs. vocals. It all aligns quite well with a proper sense for psychedelic grittiness without obscuring the performative qualities of the group. Likewise, the finesse of the cover image from Karmazid is incredibly appropriate in its match with the surrealistic occult hand the music presents. If anything this release is almost too brilliant as a complete package right out of the gates, the standard set is ridiculously accomplished and as such my enthusiasm for, and imagination of, future emanations sustains on high. A very high recommendation.

Very high recommendation. (86/100)

Rating: 8.5 out of 10.
TITLE:The Word of His Law
LABEL(S):20 Buck Spin
RELEASE DATE:April 15th, 2022

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