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venerdì 27 settembre 2019

Ancient Moon - Beneditus Diabolica, Gloria Patri

#FOR FANS OF: Esoteric Black Metal
Ancient Moon is one of those projects which like to hide under a veil of mystery, presumably to create an aura of obscurity, which always help to reinforce its musical proposal. In fact, I don’t know a lot about this international project composed by three musicians whose names remain unknown to the general public. Ancient Moon was created in an unknown place and date, and the first thing we know is that they released a quite competent debut entitled 'Vvltvure', back in 2015 with the Russian underground label Satanath Records. That debut showed the love of the band for long songs as this debut was composed by a single mammoth song which almost lasted 30 minutes. Now, four years later and after a split album released in 2018, Ancient Moon returns with its sophomore work entitled 'Beneditus Diabolica, Gloria Patri'.

'Beneditus Diabolica, Gloria Patri' is another dark ritual consisting of two long tracks, clocking each one, around 17 and 20 minutes, respectively. Ancient Moon plays a very dark form of atmospheric black metal with adistinctive murky and obscure production, which fits perfectly well what this dark incantation wants to be. The album needs to be listened in its entirety as the band creates long pieces as a part of a unique tenebrous ritual, where each instrument and arrangements has a sole purpose, to build a dense atmosphere which wants to captivate the listener in an immersive music experience. The aura of mystery evolves both compositions which have long atmospheric sections created with keys, organs and other instruments, showing the skills of this musicians when they have to compose music with a strong sense of atmosphere. Pace wise both tracks have a general mid-tempo style, though thankfully the pace is not monotonous through the whole compositions, as both songs contain some faster sections adequately mixed the aforementioned ambient sections, slower and the most common mid tempo sections. The guitars have a murky tone, though the production can be considered good and well balanced, they even have a certain dissonant tone which fits the ritualistic chaos of these compositions. Their role in this album is quite relevant and they are certainly a strong point, as they sound well composed and with distinguishable melodies and a welcoming variety. This notorious role is shared with the already mentioned keys, which have a sole leadership in certain moments, as in others they are the perfect companion of the guitars. Sometimes, they appear in the front, like in the ambient sections or when the organs appear like for example in "Benedictus Diabolica, Gloria Patri Pt 1" and in other sections you can find them more in the background. Anyway, they are never overrepresented as they appear in an adequate quantity. Alongside the guitars and the keys, the vocals have also a strong performance, and as it happened with the instruments they adequate their tone and style to the different sections achieving an excellent result. The vocals can sound at times with a clear black metal style with those shrieks, while they can also have a death metal touch as they adequate their style to a lower and cavernous tone. In certain moments they also remind me Attila Csihar’s very personal and unique vocals. One of the best moments is when they introduce choir esque vocals, which fit perfectly well this kind of ritualistic black metal and are, in my opinion, one of the best moments of this album.

In conclusion, 'Benedictus Diabolica, Gloria Patri' is undoubtedly a quite strong second album and the best compliment I can say about it is that it achieves to create the ceremonious, murky and perturbing atmosphere that the band wanted to beget. (Alain González Artola)