Album Title: Ominous Doctrines of the Perpetual Mystical Macrocosm
Label: No Colours / Hell's Headbangers
The production on this record is much more dynamic than on Nefarious Dismal Orations. The drums sound crisp, and they stand out even during the lead parts. The guitars have plenty of impact, especially during the solos, and Dagon's cold, ruthlessly affectless vocals are right up front in the mix. Movie samples and an occasional acoustic guitar round out the album's sound, and are integrated perfectly into the album.
You can't accuse this band of resting on their laurels. Nefarious... delivered a potent dose of eerie, ritualistic atmosphere, but this album sees Inquisition return to a more aggressive and varied style. The songs here are immediately reminiscent of their classic, Into the Infernal Regions of the Ancient Cult -- some moments, like the intro riff on "Desolate Funeral Chant", sound like they came straight off that album -- but the songwriting here is far from derivative, and the album doesn't sound remotely done-before. Instead, each song slots together effortlessly; there are some quite startling transitions and chord choices here, but they never sound out of place. Tracks like "Cosmic Invocation Rites" and the album opener, "Astral Path to Supreme Majesties", are blazing-fast and vicious, stopping only for a triumphant break now and again. Others are more contemplative, like "Desolate...", "Hymn for a Dead Star", and the short instrumental, "Conjuration". Still others capture this band at their proud, imperious best.
The title track is undoubtedly the centerpiece of the album. Shifting rhythm guitars combine with a memorable lead line, all over a remarkable performance on the drums. Dagon is at his best here, delivering a chilling hymn to the void. By the time the haunting middle section arrives, the listener is overwhelmed... only to be struck by yet another killer guitar part as the silence breaks! "Crepuscular Battle Hymn" follows this up with a swaggering, mid-paced war cry in the tradition of "Crush The Jewish Prophet"; the lyrics here are just plain excellent, as is the way the movie sample is integrated into the song! The dual-guitar parts strike with incredible impact: "Thrones made of gold crumble from the blast"! It was almost impossible to choose standout tracks here: these two were obvious choices, but every other song on the album seemed equally worthy of mention.
The space/stars theme is also very cool: in a genre chock-full of bands singing about Satan, Inquisition has yet again found a creative, moving, primal way to approach the subject. Dagon's vocal delivery makes these passages utterly convincing.
I can't praise this record enough; it's easily the best album of pure black metal I heard this year, and further cements my belief that Inquisition can do no wrong. After five albums, they're still putting out music which sounds fresher than 99% of their peers... many of whom would do well to look to this band for inspiration rather than Blasphemy, Darkthrone, or Beherit. Highest recommendations.
Standout Tracks: "Desolate Funeral Chant", "Ominous Doctrines of the Perpetual Mystical Macrocosm", "Crepuscular Battle Hymn"