Benedictus Diabolica, Gloria Patri
Review by Alex on July 28, 2019.
It's the number 1 reason Iron Bonehead Records is the best record label (for me), the musicians existing under their umbrella carry with them a definitive attachment to the occult. Not only do they bring the ritual to the turntable, but the music used as a tool to forecast the journey is as important and pleasing as the rituals. Stepping before the lit candle is Ancient Moon with an accumulation of members native to Belgium, France and Switzerland. As for the actual identity of the individuals involved, no one knows but themselves; they exist under one letter names being J (bass, keyboards, vocals), B (drums, vocals) and O (guitars, vocals) further adding to the mysterious aura of their corrupted steel. After having released their debut full length in 2015 titled Vvltvre which was then followed by a split with Prosternatur being Secretum Secretorum in 2018, they return from the abyssal realms with horrors and an even more terrifying presence, this time under the sigil of Benedictus Diabolica, Gloria Patri. Comprised of 2 lengthy psychic occurrences aptly self-titled. Two celestial monoliths expanding cracks in the void to excavate its most prestigious elements. This is black metal, it shows no limits to the depth of the dark philosophies and teachings, it loads the cannon with impurities and blasts it at you.
Riffing, drumming, chanting and throating flirtatiously to the obscurity of the genre, Ancient Moon remind the listener that black metal is for the mentally unchained, those who walk the path of enlightenment, the witches' ascendancy stairway to truths and unspeakable pleasures. With bouldering thumps of the drums, trancing guitars and sung chants among the palette of resonance, Benedictus Diabolica, Gloria Patri can be compared to the honorary class of releases from covens active within the Helvetic Underground Committee. Though I am not aware if Ancient Moon is fronted by members of such an esteemed establishment, I do get the feeling they are indeed apart of such judging by the scope and methodology of the ritual trance administered here on Benedictus Diabolica, Gloria Patri. Hence the music is vibrant and is stitched to last; shaking sounds of the drums crack the foundation while a cloud of rhythms harnesses the power accumulated to mend the music. Violently climaxing yet soothingly calm at times, Ancient Moon bring to life contrasting excellence while creating anathematizing harmonies on Benedictus Diabolica, Gloria Patri.
Impressive is the least I can say about the mania heard here, they go beyond giving just another black metal record; instead, feeding the cauldron with the antique essences of the genre. I could see this sharing the same salutations as Finis' "Visions of Doom", or Lykhaeon's "Ominous Eradication of Anguished Souls" as a testament to how adeptly the workings are being executed. I hope there will be more to follow given the pleasurable quality of the music on Benedictus Diabolica, Gloria Patri and it's accompanied paraphernalia; yet another privileged offering to the altar of black metal which has seen many fail to even reach the coveted temple through feeble attempts at what they call 'music'. Could not be happier the members within the space of Ancient Moon have not been identified; that layer of obscurity is reinforced and leaves the band and Benedictus Diabolica, Gloria Patri open to much speculation by supporters, something that has been largely absent within the genre. This is a solid entry that has deeply inscribed the trademarks of a professional entity committed to maintaining the well-being of black metal.
Rating: 9.4 out of 10