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Ignis Mortis – Hæresis Maleficarum [EP]

ignis mortis – hæresis maleficarum [ep]


The origins of Ignis Mortis lie in Evil Might, a Helsinki based band formed in 2019. While it is unclear what the current status of the band is, the departure of four of its members in 2022 sparked the formation of Ignis Mortis. While I try to envelop myself in the Finnish Black Metal scene as much as possible, the truth is that I had never heard of Evil Might. However, I certainly am familiar with some of the other acts that the members of Ignis Mortis featured in and the likes of Rienaus, Grieve and ArthemesiA have all crossed my paths, whether more recently or, in the case of the latter, about two decades ago. Add the fact that Hammer of Hate is backing the band’s first release, and you can consider me interested.

The MCD ‘Hæresis Maleficarum’ features three tracks that combine into roughly twenty minutes of music. And while I enjoyed the latest Rienaus album ‘Luciferille’ or the ‘Grieve’ EP that singer Valtias featured on, Ignis Mortis manages to raise the bar with their very first release. Unlike the perhaps more standard Finnish Black Metal of Rienaus or the old school Norwegian sound of Grieve, ‘Hæresis Maleficarum’ combines a bit of all the Scandinavian scenes into something to call their own without losing their heritage out of sight. The absolute highlight is the opening track ‘Noitasapatin irstaat syöjättäret’, a nearly 10-minute midtempo tracks in which melodies are much more subdued and sporadic keys add a haunting character. In a way it reminds me most of acts like Korgonthurus and Bythos, but with a different ambiance. Where the musical framework is almost hypnotising in character and structure, the vocals are particularly varied, rasping, howling and chanting away and thereby adding a great deal to the atmosphere. The best way to describe that atmosphere is almost romantic, in an adoring and worshipping sort of way. While there is a sense of cold in the overall sound, the atmosphere certainly sets the band apart from the more melancholic side of for instance the Finnish scene.

In the subsequent track ‘Kali Yuga Mysticus’ there is a little bit more room for higher tempos and melodies, used in a manner that combines Finnish Black Metal and the Swedish Black Metal scene of the late 90s. With a fiercer pace and rumbling bass, it provides a nice change in tempo from the glorious opening track but retains a similar atmosphere of reverence, especially when the track slows down and almost Pagan chants beckon the end of the song. Closer ‘Sanguine Luciferian Vampirism’ is best described as a combination of both previous songs, presenting the to the point formula where melodies and atmosphere are central but subtle, and the excellent vocals are allowed to excel.

Judging on the debut MCD of Ignis Mortis, it seems that all the previous experience of the members of Ignis Mortis have led to them finding their most cohesive and distinctive sound to date with this new project. While recognizably Finnish in sound they managed to avoid the throdden paths, offering a more midpaced Black Metal sound that combines into a fresh sounding release that certainly has me curious for what’s to come.

Ignis Mortis

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