Monday, May 29, 2017

CD Review: KHAOSPATH …For The Devil Speaks The Truth

…For The Devil Speaks The Truth
Released in November 2016, …For The Devil Speaks The Truth is Khaospath’s second full length recording, following their freshman album Synagoga Obscura (2014, Pesttanz Klangschmiede). Immortal Frost Productions’ limited edition CD release of this album, limited to 500 copies, is packaged with a twelve page booklet. Waiting inside is epic, high quality aggression, occultism, horror, melody, atmosphere and melancholy in spades. …For The Devil Speaks The Truth is yet another testimony that black metal can be as experimental as a band desires, unfettered by mainstream constraints. Khaospath are originally from Malta but relocated to Sweden sometime after they formed. Lyrically and theatrically, the band takes creative license with their compositions, making them of appeal to those black metallers whose favorite albums include A Blaze In The Northern Sky (Dark Throne) and The Shadowthrone (Satyricon). This is not your typical Swedish black metal, but then again neither were Opthalamia on their monumental ode to the endless cycle of nature which was Via Dolorosa. …For The Devil Speaks The Truth is cold, ethereal and unnerving rather than relying on pure blast and full-on blasphemy. Khaospath is less concerned with being “kvlt” than writing carefully arranged material driven by the most morbid imagination, reeking of isolated forests, solitary homes, forgotten cemeteries, sealed tombs, rotten corpses, vampires, werewolves and legions of demons poised to possess your soul in lieu of escaping their confinement in the abyss and conquering the mortal world. The lyrics to this album weren’t on Bandcamp so I had to visit Encyclopedia Metallum to read them. Once I started reading I could see how closely the lyrics of Verbis Diaboli fit the music, as they depict the filthiest, most profane and perverted demons you can imagine emerging from the deepest pit of hell to corrupt the earth, and are written to give the creatures a sense of nobility. Sort of like Mayhem meets Manowar. From there you get tales of witches, succubi and demonic goddesses captured in well written verse (Into the Devil's Claws, The Stench of Betrayal, The Raven's Downfall). These lyrics are not the airheaded rantings of a drug addled devil worshper; they have a sophistication reminding you of classic horror of the eighteenth and nineteen centuries. Most impressive was the work of vocalist Hellcommander Vargblood (also the band’s guitarist and keyboardist) who changes his style from song to song when a particular lyric calls for him to. I should add he has the most bloodcurdling screams I have heard on a black metal album in a long time. Also check out the band’s lyric vide for Oraculum Strigoi. -Dave Wolff

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