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Leviaxxis (2014)

Although one of three bands to share this unusual moniker, this Dysangelium are a bunch of German black metallers consisting of vocalist Sektarist 0, guitarists Götzenzertrümmerer and T., plus bassist C.H. and drummer A.N.L., who also provides vocals. Leviaxxis is only their second demo, which follows on from 2013’s Exordium tape.

This demo offers a trio of tracks, beginning with ‘’Til Only Thy Light Is Left’, which is a raging, snarling, angry piece of bone-shuddering black metal that comes fully equipped with chunky, clanking percussion and a rich, yet abrasive guitar sound complemented by the truly nasty, throaty vocal outburst.

For me, long gone are the days when black metal bands tried their hardest to become even more obscure than the next, so currently we have a wave of bands just wanting to get on with the job and churn out their own simple yet effective brand of extreme metal. I’ve been fed up with the icy blasts of murky, scathing guitars and growing more fond of meaty yet still comparatively ashen and certainly grotesque metal, and this bunch is effective in that style.

As well as introducing some hateful blasts of speed, the quintet succeeds mostly with its melodic inserts which marry in nicely with the more vigorous passages. Vocally Sektarist 0 has an effective style that seems to hint at a Swedish influence with the gravelled sneers, so it’s no real shock that some comparisons with Watain may be drawn.

‘Obelisk Of The Sevencrowned Son’ is a hefty slice of cutting black metal exhibiting some catchy melodies amidst the seething guitar attack and flailing drums. The vocals bring a slower menace to the crowd of instrumentation which is channelled through a classic black metal structure, but with those doom-laden chords that ache over two minutes in we can only nod with approval at this gang of youngsters who will surely flourish when their full-length album emerges. You can argue all you want about some of the apparent limits within the black metal genre, but when the music is as earthy and murky as this it’s hard not to dive into this pitch black lagoon time and time again.

The final track on this 12-minute demo is ‘Chaomega’, the most furious of the tracks with its intense percussion which rattles and flickers with maniacal aplomb until again we’re treated to a brief interlude of murky mood. The vocals are strong throughout, giving the work a truly authoritative feel until the demo is brought to climax with more scathing chords and an ever-flowing waterfall of blistering drums.

Dysangelium shows a lot of promise in its quest for eternal darkness.

For those of you interested, the Leviaxxis demo is available here.

Neil Arnold

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