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Misotheist – Vessels by which The Devil is Made Flesh

misotheist – vessels by which the devil is made flesh


Then Shall not Come Nigh to Offer the Bread of Their God
Nou Must Certainly Put Them to DEATH!
For nou, Brethren, have Been Called to Liberty.
Granted the Vision of the Chosen Few.
From Spiritual Devotion to Whitewashed Tombs.

These words accompany the third album by Misotheist, ‘Vessels by which The Devil is Made Flesh’. Combined with an engraving from 1655 by the hand of Adriaen Pieterszoon van de Venne entitled “Five tombs containing skeletons of historical exemplars of wisdom, war, beauty, strength and riches; an allegory of change, decay and death’, the tone is set for a highly anticipated new chapter for the Trondheim act.

While the preceding ‘For the Glory of Your Redeemer’ was much in line with the band’s self-titled debut release, it moved a little bit away from the eerie suffocating sound of ‘Misotheist’ towards a clearer and more elaborate sound. One where emerging melodies, dissonance and chaos expanded the music of the band towards new territories. ‘Vessels by which The Devil is Made Flesh’ continues along this path, although it does not stray far from the sound of the predecessor. Instead, it continues to perfect the formula, again bringing us with three lengthy pieces of art.

After the opening strumming riff of ‘Stigma’ breaks into the main melody it may sound as if the band has turned into a slightly different direction, but not much later the song takes a bleaker, almost traditional, direction where direct influences of early 90’s Black Metal surface. But Misotheist does not linger on this, shifting frequently in drum pace and riff accents. ‘Stigma’ is a song that has a glorifying atmosphere to it, exemplified by the clean strumming midway with an echoing solo, a moment of pure worship. It’s one of the moments that shows its treacherous nature in a song filled with small escalations and enervating twists.

The title track then takes these twists into more nervous territories, starting off in furious fashion. What follows can only be called a typical Misotheist riff, with shifting tones accompanied by B. Krabøl’s excellent hoarse vocals. A dragging section with rolling drums adds to the suffocating and overwhelming nature of the record, and the clean guest vocals courtesy of Urfaust’s IX provide a perfect complement. With a ferocious and intense ending, the title track may be the most unnerving and choking Misotheist song to date.

With ‘Whitewashed Tombs’ the album reaches its climax with the lengthiest Misotheist track recored so far. That does not mean the band takes it slow. On the contrary, the early minutes of the song are menacing, with pulsating drums, rumbling bass and subcutaneous melodies. The alternating escalations between eerie strumming and intense tremolo picking bare witness to the vocals descending further into darkness. Flowing into a lengthy ambient section that again has that flair of reverence, this worshipping atmosphere is carried over when the pace and intensity picks up into the album apotheosis.

Together with Whoredom Rife, Misotheist appears to be one of the most lauded newer acts in the Terratur Possessions roster. Unphased by the expectations that come with that, ‘Vessels by which The Devil is Made Flesh’ marks another triumphant chapter in the band’s discography. Continuing where ‘For the Glory of Your Redeemer’ left off, the band incorporated more nuances into the trademark sound to further enhance their work. It’s hard to deny the sheer passion that the band puts into their recordings, and it has resulted in yet another Trondheim Black Metal record of the utmost quality.

Terratur Possessions

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