2015’s In Case You Missed: VI’s De Praestigiis Angelorum

A shared opinion around our circles seems to be that 2016 has started out in a fairly lacklustre manner in terms of killer metal albums. Save for a few notable releases, most people agree that 2015 had come out of the gates quite a bit harder in its first quarter. For me, those releases so far have been Skáphe, Bhavachakra and Ifrinn. While I wait for those scheduled for later in the year or something new to catch my eye, I’ve been revisiting some stuff that I should have paid more attention to during the late heavy bombardment period of 2015. 

In between peeling back the layers on gems like Awe’s Providentia, and digesting all the damn riffs on Grafvitnir’s Necrosophia, I’ve been sampling some fine French offerings, such as Temple Of Baal’s Mysterium and today’s subject VI’s De Praestigiis Angelorum. This is an album which I’d seen the cover of a few times but couldn’t really recall much talk about. This shall be remedied, for De Praestigiis Angelorum deserves some time in the limelight. Featuring members of respected acts Aosoth and Antaeus, VI bring a certain degree of clout to the table and shouldn’t disappoint even the most discerning listeners.

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Having only released an EP and a split since their inception in 2008, De Praestigiis Angelorum is the band’s first attempt at a full-length, and I think it’s fair to say they knocked it out of the park. The 8-tracks on offer clocking in at close to 45 minutes, full to the brim of turbulent contemporary black metal, replete with luxurious production that shines with spirit rather than sterility. After the short (1 minute) introduction, the album takes off and never really loses stride. I don’t normally choose a stand-out track to feature but I feel it is relevant with this particular release, as to me, the album feels like it builds towards the middle. In that sense, Tracks 4 (“Regarde tes cadavres car il ne te permettra pas qu’on les enterre”) and 5 (“Une place parmi les morts”) could be seen as centrepieces to this exquisite composition. The former encapsulates much of the album’s overall style and intensity during its 7 minute barrage. The final flourish that follows the brief orchestral ambient passage after the 5:00 mark is a remarkable display of De Praestigiis Angelorum‘s balance between complexity and aggression. Hear for yourself below.

Throughout the album there are ample layers of melody. Somehow, VI manage to not let this hamper the ferocity of the songs. This is achieved through their note selection. Contrary to the prevailing norm of melodies falling into either the triumphant battle-like category or the more common melancholic and sullen side, guitarist INVRI utilises a more equivocal sonic palette. Creating melodies that somehow feel tonally ambiguous yet remain evocative. Perhaps the desire for resolution is one of the reasons why I keep coming back to this album so frequently, regardless of my mood. It would be remiss of me to not mention the exemplary drumming on the album. The percussion is just as impressive as the fretwork throughout. In some sections it all but steals the show all together. Drummer Blastum lets rip with some furiously energetic beats adorned with astute use of dynamics, particularly with his cymbal-work, where shimmers and muted stabs keep things appealing.

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From personal experience, I can tell you this album goes well on a playlist with the aforementioned Awe, Devouring Star, Deathspell Omega, Abyssal and of course Aosoth, but I don’t think it’s quite fair to assume it sounds incredibly similar to any of those bands. Also, as a side note I think this has the potential to please those who enjoy Iceland’s NadraDe Praestigiis Angelorum deserves to be unleashed upon your senses and given your full attention as one of the finer releases of 2015, so join us and spend the next 3/4 of an hour (re)visiting something special.


(Image via, via)

Written by:

Published on: March 24, 2016

Filled Under: Metal, Reviews

Views: 1440

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  • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

    firstly?

  • UNCLE BLACKBEARD

    i keep passing over this album

    whoops

  • Man, I do love me some Aosoth and Antaeus like you wouldn’t believe… But I can not get into this project. Just too much wankery going on. Production is a buzz kill to for me.

    I see you mentioned Ifrinn though, jammed that new album earlier. Fucking superb!!!

    • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

      Yeah, too clean, etc. I can hear that already.

    • Lacertilian

      Showing talent on your instrument that doesn’t hinder the progress or impact of a song is something many metal musicians strive for through practice.
      I guess the determination of whether it has hindered the song is arbitrary.
      Where you hear wankery, others hear something interesting. I mean why practice to get good if you can’t use it in the context of a song?

      • CyberneticOrganism

        Well put, lizard.

      • I hear it through out the whole thing. I understand that musicians strive to be good at their instruments. Black Metal is one genre of metal I really don’t give a shit if you can show off your musicianship. I find black metal to me more about the emotion and atmosphere. I don’t want something that sounds mechanical, over polished, or technical. There is a lot of that going on here. Just not my thing BRO! Sorry.

    • Lacertilian

      Also, a friend’s band is playing here and he just posted this. I noticed Ifrinn are playing at this fest. Check the fucking lineup.

      • I did see this! Unreal.

        • Lacertilian

          Interesting to see it says Terratur and Oracular Phantasm present.
          The former I’m familiar with but the latter happens to be the name of the second track on Ifrinn’s new album, even though that release is on IBP.
          Got me thinking..

          • Hmmmm.

          • Lacertilian

            Might have to take up further enquiry on this. Will report back.

  • In Case You Missed It? Sounds right up my alley.

    Sick tunes, Lizard.

    GL

  • YourLogicIsFlushed

    I was lucky enough to not miss this one. Great album, great review. Love a little melody with my BM. (No I don’t mean listening to music on the toilet)

    • CyberneticOrganism

      Yes you do.

      • I think you mean yes you do-do.

        GL

  • King Shit of Fuck Mountain
    • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

      Rob Halford?

      • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

        The album.

          • Óðinn

            A NASCAR-themed album titled Made of Meth. It was an odd career move for Rob, although highly relatable to music fans from the American heartland. 😉

          • you sure you’re not from Missouri? lelz

          • Óðinn

            Yup.

          • more beer

            I thought you were a Texan.

          • Óðinn

            No. I am not from Texas. I hope we can still be friends.

          • more beer

            It doesn’t matter where you are from. Blind in Texas is probably the best way to see the state. About a foot and a half of snow at my house yesterday. It was 72 degrees the day before and 50 again today. The weather here is pretty crazy this time of the year.

    • COAL ROLL

      inching ever closer to the ultimate resolve.

  • Rob M

    Couldnt quite understand the hype on this one. It didnt seem nearly as strong as their stuff with Aosoth or Antaeus

    • Motherfucking Blood Libels!!! One of the most vicious black metal albums ever. So goddamn ferocious.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_8jeMk8jNs

      • Rob M

        No doubt…Antaeus just makes genuinely nasty black metal.

        • Yup, pretty much sums it up.

      • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls
        • Cut Your Flesh and Worship Satan is just as good. Definitely worth checking out too.

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            Haven’t heard those ones, but I’ll check them out later tonight.

          • “Cut Your Flesh and Worship Satan”, it’s one.

        • more beer

          Another celebrity death today. The Grim Reaper putting in work in 2016. http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv/garry-shandling-acclaimed-comic-actor-dead-66-article-1.2576782

          • holy crap, a true genius. RIP

          • more beer

            Yea I liked the Larry Sanders Show.

          • He was only 66. Damn.

          • more beer

            That’s a better run than a lot of people. Its seems like it was quick which doesn’t seem so bad either.

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            Goddamnit! Loved the Gary Shandling Show. This right after Phifa Dawg (Tribe Called Quest) died.

            Fuck you, 2016!

            http://www.jimkeefe.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/angry.gif

          • more beer

            Some years are just like that.

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            Yup. And I’m having a very bad feeling that this year’s gonna just as bad in Chicago, now that the spring has started. Over 100 murders in just the first two months alone, which is the slow period for violence over there. This might get even worse than 2012 over there, which is saying a lot.

          • more beer

            That almost goes without saying. Kat Williams will be dead by the end of the year the way he is going.

          • is he still funny? i haven’t listened to him in over a decade but i liked him back then

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            His newest one, The King, was pretty good, especially since he wasn’t yelling the N-word like a Tourette’s Syndrome patient having a stroke.

          • more beer

            I am still more amused by his downward spiral. The dude is 5 foot 2 and weighs like a hundred pounds wet, if he hasn’t been on a crack binge. He is running around trying kick everyone’s ass.

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            “weighs like a hundred pounds wet”

            “You’re only 60 pounds when you’re wet and wearing boots”

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=car_j3HFELE

          • more beer

            Which boots my steel toes or the ones without steel toes?

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            Depends on the ones Snoop Dogg was wearing at the time. The ones with steel toes aren’t popular with rappers, are they?

          • more beer

            They like Timberlands.

          • UNCLE BLACKBEARD

            i like Timberlands

          • As do I. They last forever.

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls
          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            Katt Williams’ theme song:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkplQ77ZD6Q

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            I’m wondering how he’s gonna spin the new thing into his usual “It wasn’t my fault, it was racism!” excuse. He even got his ass kicked at a hip hop show recently (after getting on stage, yelling at the audience and doing push ups) and still managed to pull that excuse. Funny how he pulls off the whole racism thing after his rant against Mexicans at one of his more recent shows/meltdowns.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-r0_-AXDW3g

          • more beer

            Because if he cries racism and anyone calls him on it. They get called a racist. That’s how.

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            Not really, not with his case. He’s taken it to some really exaggerated levels, rather than owning up and blaming the obvious (which is most likely a massive coke problem).

          • more beer

            No you are wrong here. While he has been out of control and wrong a lot lately. The world we live in is so politically correct. That he doesn’t have to take responsibility for his actions anymore. If it was to come from the black community it would be okay to call him on his bullshit. But so far that isn’t happening nor do I think it will ever happen. So he will continue to get away with it. Until some DA looking to make a name for themselves put’s him away. He will just continue being a douchey crackhead.

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            Consider to that he is an actual millionare. Money can get you out of shit that regular folks like us can’t get away with. Otherwise, Jared Fogle would be tossed into general population and a one way ticket from the top rail, and Donald Trump would be in the pokey for investor fraud.

          • more beer

            Jared Fogel would be in protective custody regardless of wealth. As they do not typically put child rapists in general population. Even with all of that money remember. Cocaine is a hell of a drug. It will empty his bank account quickly. Plus after a while the courts get sick of seeing you and send you on your way to the greybar hotel.

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            Exactly. Even a crack habit, which looks cheap because of the initial cost, will drain your money like a motherfucker. Cocaine itself will drain you even quicker. Charlie Sheen’s saying he doesn’t even have money for child support nowadays, and one can’t help but think that his massive coke habit has something to do with all that. Why anyone fucks with that or any hard drug nowadays is beyond me.

          • more beer

            Crack will drain your pockets quicker than powder because you are always chasing that first hit. So he will be broke. People like drugs that is why. What really needs to be done is treat drugs as a health issue not a crime.

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            And the usual “oh, that won’t happen to me” thing, being tired of the same four walls of regular working life, etc. NY just passed a thing where heroin addicts can get free treatment under supervised care (in this case, it means a nurse shooting you up and you go straight into rehab), and of course people are against that in NYC. 900+ overdoses in NYC last year, and yet people are still against the whole thing. Keep in mind that we’re in a country where Trump has gotten this far. A lot of people are stuck in a mentality and world that left them behind ages ago.

          • more beer

            I am not sure that a nurse hitting a junkie then sending them to rehab is a good plan. First of all they don’t really do cold turkey detox anymore. They use either Methadone or Suboxone. Suboxone can not be taken until someone hasn’t done heroin for 24 hours. So that doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. If they really want to stop all of the overdoses. What they need to do is hand out narcan at the needle exchange programs. That way if someone is with someone who is overdosing they can shoot that shit up their nose and it reverses the effects. This is common sense so it probably won’t happen. Trump is the worst thing that can happen to this country. But I am not impressed with the other choices either. Gary Johnson is running libertarian I will probably vote for him but he won’t win. Since he will support a sensible way of dealing with drug problems.

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls
          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            I’ve lost friends to heroin, and it’s still hard to see why someone would do that shit in the first place. On the other hand, methadone is damn near as bad. Best thing is not to do the shit in first place, but that’s an ideal world. Tossing the users in the brick house is obviously not the solution, but look at what we have running for the Oval Office. Trump, who wants to make the prison system his own personal ‘Voluntary Rehabilitation Camp’ (what North Korea calls it’s gulags), or Hillary, who touted the prison system and called black males ‘super predators’. The prison complex is an industry, and one that isn’t going away soon. Hence the whole thing about tossing people in prison for whatever, a la Sharia law.

          • more beer

            But we don’t live in a perfect world. That is a big part of the reason people do heroin. If you have ever taken an oxy you would know why. No drug makes you feel better. Hence a good reason to stay away. The baby boomers are dying off soon Gen X will be running things. I would like to think we will be more sensible than the generation before us. Who took great care of themselves and fucked the rest of us.

          • Hide yo kids. Hide yo wife. Hide yo butt. Teh Super Predators are coming, and they’re coming HARD!

          • more beer

            No just his life is funny now.

          • UNCLE BLACKBEARD

            he went full Richard Pryor

          • more beer

            Fuck yea he did. But he is not close to as funny as Richard Pryor was.

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            Nope. Richard Pryor did a lot of fucked up shit when he was coking out, but at least he owned up to it and rarely got arrested.

          • Also, Richard Pryor is a legend. Kat Williams is not.

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            He’s got his moments, but the whole thing of him spouting the N-word every two seconds even annoyed some of my black friends back home, a couple of whom use it every other sentence. You have to basically get over that to even get to what he’s actually saying.

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            I’m amazed he isn’t dead already. Lol, he got his ass kicked by a 7th grader a couple of days ago.

            http://www.tmz.com/2016/03/23/katt-williams-minor-fight-video/

          • more beer

            Turns out the kid was a 17 year old 7th grader.

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            Damn, that kid’s definitely a Slingblade case, then. Too slow for regular school, and not slow enough to be put in special ed.

            Judging by this pic of the whole thing, I’m not sure if it was a beatdown or two men in the throes of unbridled lust:

            http://img.fark.net/images/cache/850/R/Ra/fark_Ra7KFdAzyrLD4elcgloAOZdoxLA.jpg?t=_wt_y8CHZdlngVHTpc7hIA&f=1459137600

          • more beer

            I have seen girls throw better punches than Kat threw. But then the kid fucked him up with that submission hold.

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            I dunno, some chicks I’ve known don’t go for the hair pulling/scratching shit. One of my friends/co workers back home used to be in the Gangster Disciples, and she’d floor a motherfucker in a second. She played around and punched me in the arm once, and that bruise was there a week later.

          • more beer

            I have know some pretty bad chicks who could fight too. But also a lot who hit like Kat Williams.

          • Óðinn

            He’s old enough to drive the short bus now.

          • more beer

            Yes he is.

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls
          • more beer

            It was a copy of Freddy Got Fingered. Anyone would have kept it.

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            Goddamn right! That movie is American cinema at it’s finest!

    • Lacertilian

      I didn’t hear much hype for this one to be honest.
      It is definitely not as sinister sounding as Aosoth.

      • Rob M

        When it came out I saw a lot of buzz on it, mostly due to the Aosoth connection

  • Batushka! You just made something awesome happen, Lacertilian.

  • BobLoblaw

    That track reminds me a lot of Nefastus Dies.

  • Boss the “Hoss” Ross

    For you, Lizard King, I will check this out.

  • I couldn’t get into this album. Still can’t. That temple of Baal is cool though.

  • COAL ROLL

    I don’t buy very many new black(ish) metal releases because so many of them just sound the same to me, but this one has potential for getting a slice of my mailmanbro budget.

    • Lacertilian

      Doo eet

    • Brutalist_Receptacle

      Go for it, brotato chip.

      • WELCOME TO THE TOILET. Your name is pretty sweet, bud.

        GL

  • CyberneticOrganism
  • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

    This sounds great!
    Since Deathspell Omega is being namedropped, I still think Circumspice’s First Prayer counts as one of the most deliciously evil sounding openings in the history of metal.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XISWKO-xQM

    • Lacertilian

      Did you try Awe’s album from last year?
      If you’re a fan of that sort of stuff it should interest you.
      http://www.toiletovhell.com/review-awe-providentia/

      • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

        I haven’t gotten around to it yet, but it’s on my list!

        • Lacertilian

          What else is on this list you speak of?

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            Well, I’m still doing a lot of catch-up. Several albums I still have to check out are (a small selection):

            Spectral Lore – III
            Dodheimsgard – A Umbra Omega
            Awe – Providentia
            Oranssi Pazuzu – Värähtelijä

            I even still have to listen to Parasignosis by Mitochondrion.

            And, a really painful one, I promised Gorak I would check out Mushroomhead’s XIII…though I’ve deliberately been reprieving that ordeal…

          • i miss Gorak something fierce. (i know, rite?)

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            Talking about missing someone… where the hell is Smitty?

          • he has been with us this whole time. alas, i cannot doxx him (but he may show his true self here…)

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            Actually I always thought you were Smitty hahaha!

          • well, i’m not NOT Smitty. hold up, that’s not true at all. i’m definitely not Smitty.

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            When will the Big Revelation of the “who is who” of novelty accounts come to full fruition?

          • “Check Out These 15 Toilet ov Hell Novelty Accounts… #9 Will Shock You!”

          • I’ve actually been “zzzZZZzzz” all this time.

          • more beer

            Lies he pissed you off to much for that to have been an act.

          • Ok ok, I’m really Tapir.

          • UNCLE BLACKBEARD

            MIND BLOWN

          • more beer

            Nah I don’t think you have that meanness in you. That Tapir does.

          • Boss the “Hoss” Ross

            Off topic, but Noisey is streaming the new Blood Ceremony
            http://noisey.vice.com/blog/blood-ceremony-interview-album

          • Thanks! Another site was supposedly streaming it but the link wasn’t there.

          • Boss the “Hoss” Ross

            No problem man, I’m happy to oblige.
            Let me know what you think.

          • Aannnd now it’s gone, got to hear 3 songs before the dreaded ‘database error’ showed up.

          • Boss the “Hoss” Ross

            DAMMIT!!!
            What do you think so far?

          • I like what I heard.

          • more beer

            Check this study out. CBD’s work in place of antidepressants. The pharmaceutical companies are going to go crazy trying to stop weed now. Since this will ruin their profit margins. http://www.marijuana.com/blog/news/2016/03/new-study-cbd-prompts-antidepressant-like-effects/?refType=blast&refId=56f2c69f2521e10e00aa07e1&a=29403&cid=17056 .

          • Annnd now it’s back…

          • Just finished listening. I like it, but not as much as ‘Eldritch Dark’. I’ll listen to it a couple more time to decide if I’ll buy this time or just stick with going to the shows. To anyone else reading this, if you’re looking for Metal look elsewhere. This is full-on 70s Hard Rock. If you don’t like that style, don’t bother.

          • Boss the “Hoss” Ross

            Alright, cool man. I started to listen to it while i was eating dinner. But then it was Daredevil time. Haha!

          • more beer

            Thursday night I would expect you to be watching Vikings. Because of killing with steel and all of that good shit.

          • Boss the “Hoss” Ross

            Hahaha! I need to start watching that. I’ve heard nothing but good things, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet.

          • BobLoblaw

            So did I, then i watched it….

          • more beer

            It should be right up your alley. Many slayings with steel. It’s a pretty brutal show.

          • Boss the “Hoss” Ross

            It is on the list. After Daredevil i need to catch up on Game of Thrones.

          • UNCLE BLACKBEARD

            yo i tried to watch this last night bc yall wouldnt shut up about it

          • Punisher is badass.

          • UNCLE BLACKBEARD

            havnt gotten that far.

            man, could they have gotten a more doofy looking guy to play Gumby or whatever his name is

          • Foggy is supposed to be a goof. That’s the point. He’s there to make Matt look better.

          • UNCLE BLACKBEARD

            hes like the samwise gamgee of marvel

          • Exactly. He’s the same now as he was when the comic first came out decades ago.

          • Boss the “Hoss” Ross

            They’re really doing a good job with his character.

          • I was worried he would be too “Shane”, shows how great an actor Jon Bernthal is. He can play a completely amoral piece of crap like Shane, and then he can play Frank Castle and get you rooting for him despite his methods.

          • Boss the “Hoss” Ross

            Tried?

            The show is phenomenal. How are you liking it?

          • more beer

            10/10/01 or whatever the fuck it was when Mexico got invaded.

          • Hillary Clinton did 311

          • more beer

            And it was an inside job!

          • UNCLE BLACKBEARD

            Agenda 21 DAWG

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            I do have some shocking theories though.

          • RJA

            Mitochondrion – Parasignosis is a must. A must I tell ya.

  • Boss the “Hoss” Ross

    Ooooh, I’m digging this. Track 4 is really doing it for me, I hear what you mean by the building up to it. Thanks Lizard King!

    Also, you mention 2016 not starting big and give three bands you are enjoying, but how is Inverloch treating you?

    • Lacertilian

      I’ve only listened once, if I can sonehow turn Ripper off for a minute I’ll get into it this weekend.

      • Boss the “Hoss” Ross

        Haha, I paused Ripper to give this a listen!

  • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls
  • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

    For me, I think the production killed the ltherwise possibly great record almost completely. I don’t appreciate the sound and hardly ended up coming back to this after my initial excitement.

  • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

    OK, needing help here…………. I’m trying to remember the one band that was interviewed on here, and it was a sorta classical-metal band. So Ugly, or something like that.

  • Celtic Frosty

    I guess call me a voice of dissent because I don’t agree that 2016 has gotten off to a slow start. But I suppose that isn’t the point of this article. I need to give this VI another listen, because I bought it blind last year simply because of the members involved, but found myself a bit disappointed by it. Maybe it’s time for a re-visit.

    • Boss the “Hoss” Ross

      Agreed. We’ve had some really killer releases so far this year.

  • Matt Pike’s Sweaty Left Nipple

    Good review of a good album by a good lizard. That’s a tri-fecta of good. Good^3.