Review: Altar of Perversion “Intra Naos” [The Ajna Offensive / Norma Evangelium Diaboli]

Review: Altar of Perversion “Intra Naos” [The Ajna Offensive / Norma Evangelium Diaboli]

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Altar of Perversion has been around for more than 20 years as a band. Their first one came out in 2001, which got a few critically acclaimed reviews but not much else in terms of success. But strangely this is only their second full-length album. Their second outing is 116 minutes in length, comprising of just 6 songs. I really was not sure what to expect when I approached this one. Yet, in the end, after only a listening for a few minutes I started immensely enjoying it and pleasantly soaked in this love letter to pure raw and dark black metal completely.

In these modern times, rock and metal music can seem rather too complicated and technical. The approach has become focused too much on either cashing in with popular styles or on bands trying to create overly sophisticated songs attempting to focus on only showcasing their skill sets at instrumentation. Musicians, it seems, often forget that music is a form of art. And like all great art, the motivation and execution should come from the heart of a musician, rather than always coming from the mind. ‘Altar of Perversion’ once again proves this fact with their latest nostalgic yet surprisingly original album.

At the first glance, this is a rather stripped down version of black metal. Instead of implementing newer elements or mixing different genres, the band focused on the core of black metal and infused their uniqueness to create an unadulterated dose of raw black metal experience. There is no stylish solos or signature, but just tight riffs and atmosphere which seems to take the listener on a journey back in time, making us remember the golden days. There are some beautiful acoustic sections and insistent drumming, making us go deeper and deeper with each listen.

Among the two members Laran is credited for the drumming, which gives a reliable dose of backdrop to the overall chaos and Calus is credited for the rest including vocals, Guitars and Bass. So it seems he is the mastermind behind the creation of the music in a sense. Both of these musicians know what they were aiming for with their instrumentation and delivered a top notch performance of chaos and cohesion creating the overall atmosphere of intensely unique yet proudly old school brand of black metal.

I also can’t seem to remember any recent black metal album with such long songs. And, the duo never made me feel bored despite their different approach. But, that also might be a case in point, this album is definitely not for everyone. It is for fans of extreme metal or maybe just for fans of black metal only. It is for those who enjoy their music to have an atmosphere and nostalgia.

To single out even a single track to be better than others is a tough task for this release. This is an album to be experienced as a whole, along with headphones, dimming the light and thinking of nothing else while diving in. But, if anyone listens to the last track “Through Flickering Stars, They Seep” or to “Cosmic Thule, Inner Temple“, one would get the idea of what they are going in for.

I know I haven’t talked much about the actual music in my review, but I sincerely believe this the kind of stuff that is to be experienced to understand, rather than to be talked about. But, sadly I have to admit this stuff is not for everyone, but for those with the acquired taste. The music could a bit too demanding for casual listeners to be honest.

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Score 90%
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User Rating : 4.2 (2 votes)

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