The Warlock Of Da'ath
Review by Michael on February 20, 2023.
Sometimes it is worthwhile to browse through other people's playlists. That's what happened to me when I looked at the Top 20 of 2022 by Husky (also known as the Asphyx drummer). That is exactly where I discovered the Dutch Lucifericon (not to be confused with the Swedish Luciferion!!!) and since then I learned to appreciate them.
The quartet formed around ex-Deströyer 666 bassist Rob Reijnders who does also the vocals here and guitarist Anton Heesterbeek (who also wrote most of the music for the album) beats itself in the eight songs on The Warlock Of Da'ath through the darkest occult death metal realms, which at times even blurred the boundaries into black metal. The result is a pretty entertaining album of about 39 minutes of playing time. What struck me first were the harsh, slightly croaky vocals, which form the vocal pitch and intonation very often reminding me of the first two Lord Belial albums. This fits quite well with the gloomy mood that the songs spread. It is where you can definitely see some slight parallels to Pentacle (maybe because Alex Verhoeven is part of the band, too), especially in the guitar arrangements. Nevertheless, on The Warlock Of Da'ath much more emphasis is put on atmosphere through reverb, double-layer and partly also keyboards and acoustic guitars. I'd like to use 'Khidir's Urn' and the following 'Sigillum Azoetia: The Map Of Possibility' as examples because they remind me of an old Morbid Angel in parts. The black metal influences are especially evident in the title track, which is one of the fastest songs on the album. You can really hear it from the guitars to the drums to the vocals ("I am Belial!") everything reminds of Lord Belial's sophomore album "Enter The Moonlight Gate" - still an absolutely underrated classic in my ears. It is when the Dutch take the foot off the gas pedal or stay in the mid-tempo range where they create an incredibly dense and gripping atmosphere, which they succeed especially through the very intelligent use of the described atmospheric stylistic elements. But also the rapid-as-an-arrow parts in the songs are well worth listening to, as these are also no run-of-the-mill compositions, but predominantly also quite strong components of the album, which make the overall work appear as a very varied and sinister death metal album.
The production is well done. The whole thing sounds neither too sterile nor too overproduced - there is a pleasant trepidation and coldness while listening, which one should feel at least with some death metal albums. Another plus point (at least for me) is the interestingly designed cover, which also has a very mysterious and occultist touch. Imagine if the band had used a cover like some death metal bands did at the end of the 90s (Obituary, Monstrosity) a computer-designed cover for this - the effect would be only a quarter as evil.
To sum up, those who like death metal (no, this does NOT mean Arch Enemy or Amon Amarth!), those who are neither old-school nor following newer trends and those who like to listen to Morbid Angel or Degial should definitely check out this album, you can't go wrong with this!
Rating: 9 out of 10 Warlocks418