Review: Xeper “Ad Numen Satanae” [Soulseller Records]

Review: Xeper “Ad Numen Satanae” [Soulseller Records]

- in Reviews

And now, for another short black metal album that has its moments without being great, with a weird and satanic atmosphere.

It’s obvious from its strange intro, its mix of black metal shrieking and clean singing, its title and its cover based on old paintings that Xeper is taking a lot of inspiration from the classics, like Bathory and Cradle of Filth, or more recently, Black Sun Brotherhood. This album is a little too short to match the ambition of its predecessors, but it does match their sound pretty well.

It’s obvious from the intro, with its strange mix of screams and Latin chanting, and the really heavy drumming and screaming of The Hidden Genesis, the next track, that this album is heavy as hell. Most songs, like the aforementioned Genesis, but also Under the Will of Satan, are awesome, angry black metal thrashers. The high-pitched vocals sound super-mean and they’ll burn your ears, in a good way.

The harsh vocals give this album a mean bite, but the other types of vocals also contribute to the dark atmosphere in place. The clean vocals, which are either word-less eerie and melancholic vocalizations, or soft yet tense satanic chants and spoken words, give this album a mellow but tense and disquieting mood that make it feel so evil and so strange.

Most tracks are 3 or 4 minutes long very fast and heavy black metal numbers with a hint of thrash, that have some real mean energy and feel really big. But when the band experiments with longer tracks, like the title track and Riding the Spiral of Lilith, they also manage to create longer and more atmospheric tracks, both melancholic and creepy.

Those two tracks, as well as the intro and The Snake that Brought the Flame, which almost sounds like a mix of heavy and black metal, are the real stand-outs of the album, both in the sense that they sound different from the rest and that they are definitely the best. The others do tend to sound the same, but they have so much energy that they are still enjoyable. Overall, this isn’t exactly a great album, it’s not something that you absolutely need to hear, but listening to it wouldn’t be a total waste of time. It’s a pretty good throwback to 90s black metal bands. It recreates their magical and occult dark atmosphere pretty convincingly, and it sounds pretty good. You’d have a pretty good time with this album.

Release date: February 26, 2021

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