domenica 13 agosto 2017

Acedia Mundi - "Speculum Humanae Salvationis" (Throats Productions, 2017)

Band: Acedia Mundi
Title: Speculum Humanae Salvationis
Genre: Black Metal
Year: 2nd May 2017
Time: 38 min
Rating: 57/100

As you know, the French black/death metal is well supported by this 'zine. In fact, I follow with great interest the French extreme metal scene starting from the infamous LLN (Vlad Tepes, Belketre etc...) to young monsters like Skelethal, Ritualization, Venefixion and others. So, this time it's the turn of a Parisian quartet called Acedia Mundi that have released its debut album "Speculum Humanae Salvationis" (also if this was recorded even in 2015) through the Mexican label Throats Productions, yet known on these brutal pages in occasion of my review about the excellent "Nightscapes" by the Italians Black Faith. But, enthusiasm about the aforementioned young French bands isn't the same for the debut album of Acedia Mundi. Now let us see why...

Then, W., bassplayer of the band (and involved also in the promising death metal band Atavisma, supported by the Swedish Blood Harvest) said to me that their main musical influences comes from bands such as Hell Militia, Funeral Mist, Merrimack, Blaze of Perdition and Bethlehem, and I have to say that you can hear all these inspirations into the album. Opened by the instrumental intro "Spreading Venom in the Hearts of Children" full of dissonant arpeggios so to craft a real sick atmosphere listenable during the other tracks, this album is a feral black metal onslaught where a brutal bunch of blast-beats (that are dominant especially in the uncontrollable "Nos Qui Non Electi Sumus...") is alternated here and there with some macabre and dissonant slowdowns, as exemplified mainly by "From Sodom to Magog". At the same time, here there is also a little bit of a polished and refined approach through, for example, a good interaction between the guitars (but the guitar solos are completely absent) or through some curious structures like in the last two total instrumental minutes of "Ceux qui Marchent" (where there is a pseudo-guitar solo with a totally demented sense of melody), and it isn't a case if some reviewers considers Acedia Mundi as a sort of progressive black metal band, also if this description, for me, is a bit exaggerated since that I can't see nothing really complex or experimental into the music of this band.
But, in all this, there is a big huge problem: the drums. In fact, the drums sounds exactly like a programmed drum-machine and, as I hope you know, I HATE the drum-machine! Unfortunately, this isn't enough because the drums sounds so weak to tone too much down the intensity of music making also not effective the various tempo changes with the result that, often, these ones appear to me incredibly abrupt and bad connected. So, I think the album needed a better production. And all this is a real shame.

It's a shame because, as usual for the French extreme metal, Acedia Mundi is a very interesting band with a personal black metal sound. So, there were many premises for a very good album since their stated aim is to play a modern black metal far, as much as possible, from the ultra-abused '90s influences. Secondly, because, rejecting the classic black metal figure of Satan and related themes, they give a key importance to the lyrics facing existentialist themes about carnal lust, frustration, suffering related to our life into this world etc..., taking inspirations not only from the psychoanalysis but also from writers/poets like Georges Bataille and Jean Genet or even from independent movie directors such as Larry Clarke and Harmony Korine (this is well known for his totally sick debut movie "Gummo", released in 1997). Hence, I hope that the sophomore album of Acedia Mundi will erase completely every flaw of this debut, so I'll wait with pleasure for other their new developments.


1 - Spreading Venom in the Hearts of Children
2 - Ab-jection
3 - Deconstructing My Soul
4 - The Saddist is the Saddest
5 - From Sodom to Magog
6 - Ceux qui Marchent
7 - Nos Qui Non Electi Sumus...
8 - ...Sumus Fex Dei


V. - vocals/guitars
J. - vocals/guitars
W. - bass
G. - drums

Throats Productions:

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