Yes. You do.
On December 16th, Iron Bonehead Productions will release Nocturnal Mysticism, a new 7” EP by Black Cilice. Why? To mark the first Black Cilice live performance in the history of history. (As if we need some trumped up reason for more Black Cilice.) The
show blasphemous ritual of doom is scheduled to take place in Utretch, The Netherlands, on the date of release. If you’ve got a ticket please take selfies and then flush your phone down the nearest toilet: We’ll eventually get them.
The two-track EP opens with some windswept and skeletal guitar strumming that wouldn’t sound terribly out of place on an Earth record, or as an intro to a SubRosa song. It’s a nice little touch to upset our expectations—which will soon enough be met in full. Right on time, the morose clean guitar drops out and the true occult ceremony begins. You might soon notice that the drums are pushed way down in the mix this time, as opposed to hammering away right in the foreground. You may also notice that the distorted guitar has a pronounced crumbling quality, reminiscent of the walls of some ancient and vile castle falling into the maw of the Earth. The distortion is beyond damaged this time around, to the point where it is practically all you can hear; the chords themselves are suffocating in despondent obfuscation, which may or may not be a bad thing, depending on how much you hate music, yourself and everything in sight.
The second track opens with an uncommonly discordant guitar cacophony. I say “uncommonly” because as raw as Black Cilice always is, he usually chooses chords that are fundamentally pleasant to the ear, shying away from too much dissonance. A smart choice, as the more dissonant the chord, the more apt it is to become washed out in with the tide of wretched production values.
In the end, this EP is something of a paradox. On the one hand it is not as articulate as previous Black Cilice releases; on the other it is not as mysteriously layered. The instruments sound brittle and dry, as if they have been drained of all essence in preparation for being shredded out of existence by some obsidian wind from Beyond the 13th Gate of Some Really Really Scary Bad Place. I know this is going to sound absurd, but this sounds more like a demo than a polished Black Cilice product. Whatever black magic he usually conjures to give his music that enveloping, otherworldly edge, it is somewhat lacking here. Maybe the spell failed; maybe he didn’t use enough goat’s blood. Or maybe he used too much. Wait, no, that’s ridiculous—you can never use too much goat’s blood.
Also of note is the fact that this time Mr. Black Cilice’s vocals sound less like a dying-whale-in-a-wind-tunnel and a little more like that wolf howling in the distance in your favorite gothic horror film.
Despite the faults I find with the overall presentation, the songs are pretty sweet. And if you’ve found yourself semi-enchanted by the Black Cilice aesthetic but unable to sit through a full album worth of it, this little two-track amuse-bouche might be just what you need.
Tickets for the December 16th show at Tenebrous Haze in Utretch are available here. There are some other bands on the bill but who cares?