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De Magia Veterum - Migdal Bavel [Transcendental Creations - 2009]

'Migdal Bavel' is the second full length album from Maurice De Jongís (of Gnaw Their Tongues)often rapid & avant grade black metal project De Magia Veterum. And it certainly shows that De Jong still has the knack of writing complex, twisting & damned music after the  rather lacklustre & 'tread the same water' of the last few Gnaw Their Tongues releases.

The album & each track literal twist & turns all over the place; from mid-pace to speedy discordant darkened black metal riffing, onto epic & grand blacked chugs unfed by orchestral & synth dramatics, through to damned low strung bass lined metallic & sleazed gothic work-outs. Onto technical & twisting darkened extreme prog metal acrobatics, through to slow doomed & pained dark gothic or doomed rock dips that suddenly wiz off into speedy darkened metallicís that buzz with dark dramatic filmatic air or prog keyboard runs.  The album often feels like it could be the fevered dream of  Ihsahn ( ex-Emperor, solo ect) if he still dug the speedy & chaotic spirit of blacked metal. There's just so many ideas, elements & layers of stuff been thrown at you  here, yet De Jong mangers to keep it all coherent, pump-up & atmospheric through-out & never once drops the ball or pulls a un-inspired turn

Truly a rollercoaster of a black metal record that rapidly shifts pace & barely gives you chance for breath. Yet itís executed in such a way that itís always precise, often scorching, dramatic & ultimately highly enjoyable. Itís so great to see De Jong putting out something that once more shows his ability to create great edgy & darken music- lets hope some of this leaks on to his main project.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Roger Batty
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