As we enter the traditional month of Christian celebration it’s safe to suggest that Ignis Haereticum won’t be first through the church doors to sing songs of salvation for Baby Jesus. Quite the opposite in fact, from these caustic Columbian fire-breathers who set many a twisted tentacle twitching with their 2014 debut full length release, Luciferian Gnosis.
Sophomore album Autocognition of Light carries a touch of black irony in its title as the one thing you’ll struggle to find in these six songs is light of any kind. This furious aural attack is so dark in content and atmosphere you’ll almost require night-time vision goggles to help you navigate the 41 manic minutes.
At almost eight minutes in duration, ‘Glorious Wounds’ is a sprawling suffocating opening track in which the Columbians blend razored riff surges with a constant stream of arm-breaking blastbeats. The final couple of minutes does see the pace relent, almost to walking pace as these black metal occultists amuse themselves with some ambient abstract sounds that bring things to a haunting and uneasy close, before one final furious eruption ensures a sparky climax.
‘Atonement of the Faithful’ squeezes things tighter still. Ignis Haereticum recommend listeners follow the album through from start to finish, which I guess they would. While undoubtedly a black badge of honour for some, for others less familiar with such a feral framework of discordant sounds that may prove a request they struggle to adhere to. The vocals throughout almost drip blood, such is the unforgiving blasphemous battery of larynx ripping sinister snarls.
Occasional sharpened shards add shape to the likes of the more moderately paced ‘Mors Mystica’ but the gloomy template is rarely deviated from with a blistering blackened surge throughout, which at times is not too far removed from Triptykon. ‘Ekstasis’ is the doomiest track, crawling through the debris of human life, before the focus returns to the icy blasts generated by ‘Lifting The Veil.’
Autocognition of Light is certainly an intense listen, almost to the point of being an exhaustive experience. That’s not to say it isn’t an accomplished release. The high octane occult cuts are demonic in the extreme. Just don’t expect to have your sins forgiven when listening to it.