Silent Leges Inter Arma
Review by Felix on September 26, 2022.
After gallantly overlooking Mavorim's first two records, I've been fighting my way from back to front since "Non Omnis Moriar". The investment for both "Axis Mundi" and "Silent Leges Inter Arma" under discussion here has been worthwhile. Already on his debut, one man army Baptist scores with amazing compositional skills. He shows no interest in extreme degrees of hardness, but his melodies are never too mild, too. In addition, he does not shy away from a well integrated soft part every now and then. This approach gives the album a certain depth and a proper portion of variety – and, by the way, the different sections blend seamlessly with each other. Maybe it is no coincidence that the most epic number, “Heimatboden”, has been placed in the centre of the tracklist. Especially its mid-tempo parts with the commanding, god-like voice give the song a cruel aura, no matter its comparatively mild parts. The atmospheric keyboard outro adds the final touch.
Baptist, the man behind the project, uses his mother tongue and spits out archaic fantasies of violence. Sometimes I think we would deserve more intelligent lyrics, but okay, that’s black metal, if I am not mistaken. Either way, he varies his voice enough to avoid monotony and this makes the album even more interesting. But its main pillars are the solid degree of (double-bass driven) aggression (“Feind geworden”) and some magic melodies. Their magic lies in the fact that they sound gentle, yet evoke an ominous mood (“Das Fleisch der Engel”). This is a cool effect and lends Mavorim some individuality – today we know that the project has cultivated this approach on its following albums in an excellent manner. The production supports this procedure, because it largely does without edges and corners. Maybe this mix is not aligned with the dogma of true black metal, but here it works.
As mentioned above, “Silent Leges Inter Arma” was / is the first full-length of Mavorim and therefore it comes as no surprise that there is room for improvement as well. “Waffenträger”, for example, marks a solid track without remarkable deficiencies, but it also does not shine with any outstanding details. “Kolosse aus Stahl” is also okay, no more, no less. But Baptist, this is obvious, has put his whole skills and emotions into the material and his maturity shimmers through every tone, regardless whether I listen to a solid or an excellent song. At the end, the output can boast with a very homogeneous design and a good flow. Therefore it is only logical that no throwaway track appears here. Moreover, there is no loss in quality as the album progresses. The last regular track, the comparatively rapid “Der Tod wollt ich sein”, convinces with excellent guitar lines and a healthy dose of dynamic. So from my point of view, there can be no doubt that Mavorim belong to the most competent bands in the German scene. Three full-lengths and not a single crap song: this is a proud interim result. Guess it’s time to discover the legion of splits and EPs...
Rating: 8 out of 10508