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Bloodshed Across The Empyrean Altar Beyond The Celestial Zenith

Colombia Country of Origin: Colombia

Bloodshed Across The Empyrean Altar Beyond The Celestial Zenith
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Type: Full-Length
Release Date: August 26th, 2016
Genre: Black
1. Intro: The Force Before Darkness
2. From Chaos They Came
4. Vortex From The Celestial Flying Throne Of Storms
5. A Black Aeon Shall Cleanse
6. The Flames Of Infinite Blackness Before Creation
7. Mystical Blood
8. Through The Divine Spirit Of Satan A Glorious Universe Is Known
9. Bloodshed Across The Empyrean Altar Beyond The Celestial Zenith
10. Power From The Center Of The Cosmic Black Spiral
11. A Magnificent Crypt Of Stars
12. Outro: The Invocation Of The Absolute, The All, The Satan
13. Coda: Hymn To The Cosmic Zenith

Review by Felix on February 27, 2024.

First things first, Inquisition stay loyal to their unique style. One must be aware of an inflationary use of the word "unique", but here it fits perfectly. The album offers tons of the odd and mighty riffs that create the distinctive aura of Inquisition's art. Admittedly, former giants like Immortal may have had an influence during the evolution of this approach, but the last results cannot be compared with those of any other band - at least as far as I can see. This special form of black metal spirituality is second to none and, equally important, to stay on track does not necessarily imply a lack of creativity or any other bullshit. Despite the dense soundscape, Inquisition deliver a certain number of new nuances as well. Of course, the vehement guitar characterises the occult album, but some breaks and spherical parts are also included, just listen to the bonus track of the digibox. Its soft sequence after the second chorus is surprising and fascinating at the same time. Inquisition have recorded an interesting cover version, but it goes without saying that their own compositions show the real face of the two dudes.

As mentioned above, these typical, droning leads, riffs and lines are still extremely dominant while forming the black cosmos that distinguishes Inquisition from their countless legions of competitors. Isn't it great to hear the glorious, hymnal and profound leads of "The Flames of Infinite Blackness Before Creation" that flow as slow as incandescent lava? Listen closely how they herald the triumph of the sinister forces in the most expressive way. Yet the vocals also contribute to the individual appearance while constantly reaching a respectable degree of bitterness. Dagon, the man who seems to love agricultural equipment, in particular the scythe, alternates between demonic nagging, gnome-like mumbling and aggressive conjurations. He does it in a very clever manner without disturbing the more or less emotionless aura of the songs. Did I write "emotionless"? Well, here we are at the striking paradox of Inquisition: their cold-hearted music praises eternally dark, airless dimensions, nevertheless, it evokes strong feelings. Why? Listen to their ingenious, black melodies and you know the answer. One thing is certain, the quality of the song material is phenomenal.

The album has a playtime of more than 60 minutes. Usually, I think that 45 minutes are the optimal length. Longer playtimes are dangerous, for both the artists and the listeners. It is only mentioned in passing that the recent elaborations of Peter Tägtgren are even more critical. They should be forbidden as soon as they reach the three seconds mark. Stop the Pain! But "Bloodshed Across..." (the rest is too long and too much lines are just annoying, if I am not mistaken, so I keep it short, very very short!) is different. Right from the beginning, Inquisition cast their spell over the audience and the magic remains unbroken until the last tones have faded. Okay, one can discuss about the necessity of an outro plus a coda, but only picky Babbitts like to have this debate. Other facts are of greater relevance. Inquisition's ominous overall appearance, for example, or the unbelievable mightiness of single pieces. Dive deeply into the title track, actually an instrumental, but every now and then, Dagon whispers some vulgarities. The best elements of the song are the exploding, howling guitars that show up after the rather calm breaks. These outstanding lines create very strange vibes and have the power to resurrect the dead; and this is not an exaggeration.

The excessive song titles invite the listeners to spend their full attention on the album. No doubt, the nearly flawless full-length will not disappoint all those who had pleasure in listening to "Obsure Verses..." or "Ominous Doctrines...". I admit that I am almost in a state of euphoria. Guess my neighbours begin to fear my unstable mind. So what. I don't know whether "Bloodshed Across..." will withstand the test of time. Yet I am optimistic in view of completely monolithic, granite and vigorous tracks such as "Wings of Anu", "A Black Aeon Shall Cleanse" or "A Magnificent Crypt of Stars" (its merciless configuration indicates an unofficial dedication to the administrator called theunrelentingattack). Moreover, with regard to the impressive mixture of transcendental, rabid, melodic and sinister guitars, I predict that the seventh full-length of Columbia's best musical ambassadors will not sink into oblivion. Rather, the formation belongs to the very few bands that give the black community both the necessary stability and a constantly fresh mentality. With that in mind, I cover myself with the Inquisition flag of the digibox and turn out the light. The waiting for the eighth output has begun.

Rating: 8.9 out of 10


Review by Adam M on October 20, 2016.

Bringing massive riffs to the table, we have another excursion into black metal by Inquisition. It is a meaty affair with tons of guitar licks to worship. It does take several listens to dig into the material here, but the wait is worth it as there is a huge impact to the material here.

The music is still close to the type of music Immortal plays, but there seems to be a dirtier, more evil vibe at present here. This elevates the music into its own territory that is a wonder to behold. The riffing is sort of similar to what can be found by bands in the thrash genre with huge sweeping arcs. It is massive sounding, more than bands from even that genre, for example. There is no denying that these huge riffs are the main draw of Inquisition and what attracts people to the outfit. There are so many strong moments on this disc that it is hard to pick a favorite. However, the tracks work well as stand-alone songs and don’t particularly need to be played in any particular sequence. In fact, for black metal the album is very listenable as a collection of songs. The problem with the album is that the songs could be more memorable. The guitar licks traverse over you and have an impact, but not one that makes you want to remember the tracks. This is forgiven because the listener will want to listen to the album again due to the power of the riffs alone and nothing else. Compared directly to Immortal’s material, this album ranks up there with most of it, but not along with the band’s very best albums like At the Heart of Winter.

This can be a nice companion piece to the new Abbath album, however, as it is a similar quality to that. Those looking for solid black metal should look no further than Bloodshed Across the Empyrean Alter Beyond the Celestial Zenith.

Rating: 8 out of 10