Location: Nova Scotia
Genre: Black metal
Full Length: Cosmic Horns
Format: Digital album
Label: Spettro Records (Italy), Gorecyst Records (Canada)
Release date: November 14: 2020
Cover artwork by John Sorrell of Morgue Rot zine
When it comes to Black Metal opinions vary substantially from metalhead to metalhead. Mayhem and Burzum were two of the founders of the genre back in the days of pure Norwegian Black Metal. The Genre endured some hardships as Mayhem and Burzum became the epicenter of controversy. Varg Vikernes of Burzum was found guilty of helping burn down multiple churches in Norway and previously appeared as “Count Grishnackh” in Bergens Tidende, one of the country’s biggest newspapers, claiming he burned down the churches. This ultimately brought conflict between Varg and Euronymous of Mayhem, ultimately leading to Varg stabbing Euronymous 23 times with two of those stab wounds to the head. After serving 15 years of his sentence, Varg was released from prison in 2009 and changed his name to Louis Cachet. This was essentially the origins of black metal, and the phenomena spread from the cold fjords of Norway to the United States when acts like Xasthur and Goatwhore began paving the way for future acts like Lurker of Chalice/Leviathan to really make an impact in the brutal black metal scene.
Upon listening to Cernunnous, it’s clear the band really did their homework and know exactly how to channel that true black metal sound. True black metal is grainy, hazy, and sometimes inaudible as it captures the pure ferocity and anguish the bands put into their music. The earliest black metal was recorded on analogue audio recorders. Cernunnous cleans it up a little bit and their vocals can be understood while maintaining a musical quality that pays homage to the origins of black metal. I will say that their drum beats sound like they are done on a midi controller or in his DAW, however, the needed presence of blast beats are there as they are absolutely essential the black metal recipe. Other elements of the black metal recipe are also present as the screaming, presence of satanism and the occult and haunting riffs can be heard. Their understandable vocals adds depth to their sound, but for some that may be deemed as damning characteristic in their music. I do not see this being a favorite in the mind of the black metal elitist, however, I enjoy their recipe and am interested in hearing more from the band.
Cernunnous hails from Northern Nova Scotia and is a one man act much like Xasthur and Leviathan/Lurker of Chalice, two early acts from the 1990’s in North America. Cosmic Horns was released November 14, 2020 and sets the stage for the future works of Cernunnous. You can find Cernunnous on Facebook and Myspace for updates on the band and future projects. I’ve now come to where I give my rating, 1 being only worthy of the burn barrel and 5 being equivalent to the establishment of a new world religion; I give Cernunnous a 3/5 and I’ll be keeping up with the one man act.
Stay Metal, Stay Brutal! -Rev. Faustus Kain
Cernunnous: Vocals, all instruments
1. Mycotoxic Euphoria
2. Unequivocal Mastery
3. Cosmic Horns
4. Behold The Blizzard
5. Celestial Incantation
6. Horned is the Hunter
7. Primordial Galaxies of Ideation