Nunfuckritual - In Bondage To The Serpent
I've spent quite a few listens to In Bondage To The Serpent, the debut by extreme metal newcomers (of sorts) NUNFUCKRITUAL, attempting to get a grasp on the sound and substance. The outfit is comprised of former members of Mayhem, Buclear Assault, Tyrant, etc. In essence, the sound is a palpable blend of varying levels of darkness, villiany and sacreligious underpinnings. The tempos are typically slow, agonizing drones on the level with your typical depressive doom/sludge sound. I liken what I hear to a ceremonial soundtrack to an apocalypse played in slow motion. The album is extremely engaging and bizarre in this way or that, and ultimately it satisfies in a way that the obnoxious band name leads you to believe it won't.
"Theotokos" slowly awakens from it's slumber of monotonous riffing and manifests as a diabolical vision of doom before it shifts out of existence. These riffs are the mainstay of the band's sound, the foundation and the flair, as the accompaniment of percussion and vocals are either just kinda there (drums) or just kinda taking up space (vocals). The inclusion of two infamous vocalists on "Komodo Dragon, Mother Queen" (Ravn of 1349 and Atilla Csihar of Mayhem) makes it one of the album's best tracks, where the vocals lend more to the mix than anywhere else. The remaining four tracks are like a funeral dirge that will not end; painful and subdued yet embellished in their wickedness and more than pleased to leave you breathless and sullen. This is the sort of music that acts as a backdrop to nightmares, and it creates more of an ambient and atmospheric effect than it does to impress you on any technical or even songwriting aspects. Simplistic yet highly impacting.
I am still not 100% sure what I think of In Bondage To The Serpent. While it certainly fits the profile of what I typically love about the genre of black metal, it also expunges the desire to classify it in such generic terms. What it ends up representing is, as I've alluded to, a thematic experience that should be individually unique to anyone hearing it. It conjures up the darker aspects of human nature, and is never pointed in any particular direction. It leaves that up to you. NUNFUCKRITUAL may have miscalculated on the name, but In Bondage To The Serpent is a very well put-together piece of nightmarish, ghoulish terror.
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