From 2002 to 2020, 18 years go by. A considerable career, no doubt. From “The Final War”, to this “The Fire Cult…”, go well over 18 years, there is an immense evolution, a maturation of musicality, of gloom, of grandeur; similar to discovering the ability to speak. Gonius Rex, the brain behind the Onirik entity, insists on walking the path as he pleases, without pity or a sense of established limits and rules. And that is how I see, essentially, creation by the artist’s hands: an unlimited creative sphere.
More than not following limits, it is not following these hypothetical limits, which fade, dissolve in the face of such brilliance. From sweet and warm melodies, to very different rhythms that would not fit the molds established in the old 90s… or, perhaps, these are more than adapted to such – outdated – reality. No, in no way ignoring or minimizing the work of those who brought me to this point today. I do see an artist who, at every step he takes, presents us with another facet of his creative genius. Yes, that’s how I see it, as a genius. A musician who goes as far as the riff takes him, as far as the ambience packs him, as far… as far as he meets his alter-ego, unreal and spiritual. The freedom of experimentation to which the musician gives himself, is equally immense; immense as his ego, as his notion of differentiation.
I have always seen / admired Onirik as an entity apart from the Portuguese reality of Black Metal. I never saw him as “one more” or “like the others”. Quite the contrary. I always considered him a special and delicate specimen, singular and… cerebral. The whole construction is mathematical and precise. Don’t “spit” Black as a simple act. There is a complete outline of what is to be achieved. Slow, heavy and dense rhythms, dark and claustrophobic, epic and powerful, distinct and singular. Those who follow the work that Gonius Rex has been conceiving for almost two decades will hardly be surprised by my words, they will hardly be surprised if what they hear does not sound A or B. It would be astonishing if there were no evolution in creation.
Of note is the fact that the bass makes itself heard, as it rarely has the opportunity in Black Metal. From beginning to end, each of the themes is a carousel of dynamism and energy, a black substance that transports Life and Death, variations to the taste of emotion, beautiful guitar work and superb performance of drums, the work of Mr. Dirge Rep (former Enslaved, Ex-Gehenna, etc.).
“Oh Father of flames, bringer of light,
Dark angel triumphant of the skies …
Grandmaster of Hell,
Return and claim my devoted heart! ”