Novae Militiae – Gash’Khalah

Rating: 3/5
Label/Distributor: Nihilward Productions
Label Distributor URL: http://www.nihilward.com/
Released: 2017
Buy Album: https://novaemilitiae.bandcamp.com/
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/novae.militiae/

Tracklistings:
  1. The Chasm Of The Cross
  2. Daemon Est Deus Inversus
  3. Orders Of The Most High
  4. Koakh Harsani
  5. Annunciation
  6. Black Temple Consecration
  7. Fall Of The Idols
  8. Seven Cups Of Divine Outrage
Band Line-up:

The band wishes to remain anonymous

Review:

France certainly has history and pedigree when it comes to producing Black Metal of the Kvlt variety. Following in the rancid footsteps of the likes of Mutiilation, and Vlad Tepes, Novae Initiae in an effort to appear enigmatic (or is that pretentious?) the band have chosen to shroud themselves behind a veil of anonymity. As such there is nothing to talk about but their album, “Gash’Kalah”, their second full length effort.

The album opens with the spooky intro of “The Chasm Of The Cross”, which soon gives way to raw, dirgy midpaced BM nastiness, before erupting into a volcanic cataclysm of slime and filth. So far, so promising. Next up is “Daemon Est Deus Inversus”, a torrent of raging abuse. Indeed, its frenetic pace make it a challenging listen. “Orders Of The Most High” (probably not a drug reference), continues this brutal trend. It is akin to being beaten ceaselessly about the head with a hammer. A predictable pattern has emerged by the time “Koakh Harsani” is vomited forth. It is well performed savagery, but lacking any flair.

“Annunciation” provides a welcome change of pace by varying the tempos and fosters a sense of atmosphere and dynamics not present on the previous three tracks. However, the warp speed template is adhered to once again with “Black Temple Consecration” – a vitriolic assault which is predictable but serviceable. “Fall Of The Idols” is maudlin and utterly devoid of pity, and filled to the brim with venom. Album closer “Seven Cups Of Divine Outrage” is a warp speed deluge. Its riffing is occasionally impressive, but nothing to really get the hair standing on end.

Novae Initiae appear to be a band with only two gears – tortuously slow, or ludicrous speed. The vocals are inhuman, and bereft of any warmth, and really one dimensional. The lack of variety proves to be a major gripe with this album; the bands approach is utterly vicious but after a few tracks fatigue sets in. The band are clearly competent musicians but are in need of a lesson in dynamics.

Review by Owen Thompson
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