Deathwomb - Moonless Night Sacraments [Iron Bonehead Records - 2019]Hailing from the Spanish Canary Islands, the irreligious outsider cult of Deathwomb spits out their debut album Moonless Night Sacraments. This power-trio plays a beastly hybrid of sulphurous Black Metal and lycanthropic Death Metal, proving their unwavering love for traditional, unrepentant and ruthlessly raged extreme metal. The album features ten songs of powerful primitivism and each piece is a piercing whip after the other... The production sounds very dark, raw and old-fashioned, while the lyrics deal with the themes of Satanism, Occultism and the Path of the Left Hand.The album was released on the Iron Bonehead label and is available on CD as well as on Vinyl.
Despite its primitive direction, the album does not slip into clichéd beastly or raw black metal, yet it goes back far into the late eighties and early nineties, paying homage to a sound full of mystical keyboard tonality and guitar work. The bonds of early Proto-Blackthash a la very old Sodom can be found as well as cross-references to Bathory in the times of The Return .., Beherit's Drawing Down The Moon or even Profanatica's Dethrone the Son of God. Added to these elements we get recurrent Death Metal parts that are reminiscent of Possessed. Partly I also recognize influences from Mystifier's Göetia and Sarcófago's I.N.R.I. . However, all of these influences are only rough guidelines for Deathwomb's sound, creating an ancient aura with general compositional forms that, for the most part, become their own interpretation through the extremely raw sound-scape of Moonless Night Sacraments.
The album's opener, "Tablets of fire", begins with ritualistic spoken-word samples followed by thunderous drums leading you deep into a mood of howling winds curling around the whimpers of the unseen and frightened souls. As the music speeds up, it creates a very raw War Metal style that uses a ton of tremolo picking, blast beats, and short synth parts in addition to the vocals. There is a real "retro feeling" and all sounds used come from the "old times"...
These kind of vibe can be found all over the album, again and again, which provides a lot of atmosphere in the otherwise very straight songs. In terms of speed, they remain relatively variable and take over many changes in tempo, which always loosen up the individual tracks. From then on there is no return!
For the album's second track, "Eternal Oaths Of Chaos", the perpetual hitting, the mournful guitars and the violently creeping bassline rumbles over everything that exists. This track is the perfect example of the cross-style elements that characterize this album!
The extended organ intro to "The Primordial One" is another atmospheric plus. This track is undoubtedly one of the densest atmospheres on the album and is therefore also a welcome change to completely battered songs like "The ancient serpent". Here's what counts is If your skull is the bony mortar, this track is the pestle that grinds deeper and deeper and unforgivably crunches its sinister sounds into your head.
With the title track "Moonless night sacraments", all facets and styles got skillfully combined with each other and also a decent Death Metal lead got inserted that absolutely fits.
From this point on the death metal influences will be more present, as "God's Servant Laceration" shows. "Enochian Keys" and "Black Omen" are two more tracks that give the listener both, brutal and atmospheric sound, before the final tracks "Moloch's domain" and "The Chasm" complete an absolutely successful album.
Maybe I liked the album so much because of Beherit elements in the band’s sound. The guitar work fascinated me from the beginning and the classic Black Metal ethos kept me listening. Especially the songs "Tablets Of Fire", "The Ancient Serpent", "Enochian Keys" and "The Chasm" left me in my memories of the good old "Metal" times... So in conclusion Moonless Night Sacraments reminds us that the best metal music still remains underground! Jan Warnke