|#FOR FANS OF: Black/Death|
'Atra Lumen' is the third full-length studio record of the French black/death metal horde Corpus Diavolis. To those of you who haven't heard of the band yet, they have been offering one of the most veiled and dismal extreme music materials in the French underground for nine odious years. But unlike most of the bands playing in the genre of hybridized black and death metal, Corpus Diavolis renders a more catastrophic mixture of black metal and death metal elements; complemented with some heavy amount of ponderous doom segments.
This is actually my first time listening to a whole album produced by the band. I wasn't really aware of their existence until my mate Franz, of The Pit of the Damned, introduced me to them by giving me a copy of the band's third studio offering. The moment I got access to the band's material, I immediately got hooked on their brand of obscure doom-laden black/death metal music.
First thing that one can notice about this album is the dusky and extremely foul ambiance that each song provides. The vibe that the eight tracks carry yields a very heavy feel into the overall output of the album. Both the slow-paced and mid-paced sections of album were impeccably executed by Corpus Diavolis. There are even a number of fast paced moments in the album, where the band has shown quite some skill when they've put their focus on it.
The down-tuned guitars assemble grotesque riffs that flow through the forty-four minute run of the record. These riffs strike hard, and it's as if they shake the earth with such abominable force as to open the gates of hell and sink the whole humanity to dust. But even with its low-tuned pitch, both guitars were still able to deliver some clear death and black metal fragments in the mix.
The drum work in the album might not be the most complex or esoteric drumming that you'll hear in the extreme metal genre, but it bears a dense and igniting zest that will certainly take its audiences to a chest-pumping and headbanging barrage. Plus, the drum blast beats don't stay stagnant the whole time, but show a great variety of form by the drummer, bringing a more varied approach in the whole offering.
Another upside about this release is the ancestral black metal harsh screeches and ritualistic temperament on the vocal part. I love it when a band's front man does not overdo his role in that area. The more straightforward it is, the more it gives a fitting outcome. Production wise, the record also does not fall short in that category. Everything in here was mixed well, and it highlighted every aspect that the band wanted to in the release.
I also find the record's album cover very fascinating. It might not be as radiant or evil as the other art covers in the extreme music realm, but it put on to view the utmost darkness and anguish that one should expect in a material put out by Corpus Diavolis. Well, after all, it does not take an expert on arts to recognize an exquisite handwork.
To cut this review short, 'Atra Lumen' is an opus packed with utter darkness and black art influence. This is worth the money to purchase, and it's one of the finest offerings under the black/death metal genre that I have listened to in a while. (Felix Sale)
(ATMF - 2017)