Review by Vladimir on February 15, 2023.
Some people may have heard about a Belgian label called Medieval Prophecy Records, thanks to its former roster of well-known bands such as Evilfeast and Enthroned. Along comes a new release from an unknown Belgian black metal band Regnum Tenebrarum, part of the so called “Ancient Hounds Circle” along with Crypts Of Wallachia, Selenite Scrolls, Orkblut and Phlegethon's Majesty. Even though the band members are anonymous, the four aforementioned bands are consisted of some members of Regnum Tenebrarum’s current lineup, with four of them as members in Orkblut, three of them as members of Selenite Scrolls and two of them as members of Phlegethon's Majesty. It seems like a very small inner circle but nevertheless a devoted one. The topic of today’s review will be their seven track EP Légendes Noires, released on February 3rd 2023 via their label Medieval Prophecy Records on CD and 12” vinyl.
The EP starts with an atmospheric keyboard intro which sets up the cold and somewhat medieval mood which will be carried throughout the rest of the tracks. All tracks have a somewhat Mgła-like tremolo riffing and drumming similar to that of "Exercise In Futility", which often switches from fast to a slower mid-tempo rhythm. Apart from the intro, there are also two instrumental tracks, 'Interlude' with acoustic guitars and keyboards, and 'Dies Irae' with the famous opening words from the Latin poem and ambient sounds of rainfall and wolf howls. Although I have said that the EP has a Mgła feel to it, the part where I feel the need to draw the line between the two is the musical atmosphere, which in case of Regnum Tenebrarum is more medieval rather than nihilistic, with added keyboards and a rawer guitar sound. The sound production is quite solid, the guitars have a nice cold distortion which is on point with the riffs, although on some songs the drumming seems at times a bit off and sound as if it’s slowing down and out of tempo, and the echoing harsh vocals are pushed far back in the mix and aren’t as loud as they should be.
The overall EP gives a good glimpse of this band’s work which I believe will be carried on with their upcoming releases and I think that Regnum Tenebrarum would certainly be ideal for fans of modern black metal. Although this may be just the beginning, it is an ambitious start which shows a great deal of promise and I don’t see the reason why it shouldn’t go further. For those who are interested in giving this EP a listen, it is available on the Rites of Pestilence YouTube channel and you can purchase it on CD and 12” vinyl via Medieval Prophecy Record’s Big Cartel page. We don’t know if this album will be available on streaming platforms as well in the near future, but I think nothing would hurt to support an underground band the old-fashioned way.
Rating: 7.6 out of 10182