Fans of certain specific musical genres are very lucky people. They just have to walk into a record store, look at the artwork, bandname and title and decide to take the album for a spin or even buy it without ever regretting it. For example: someone with a green and red mohawk looking very angry and wearing torn jeans? Punk. Someone with dreadlocks, a weed leaf and the word 'Jah' on the cover? Reggae. A barely readable logo and Satan himself on the artwork? Black metal. Life can be simple sometimes. Bleak, desolate and depressive, that's true, but oh so simple.
Capricornus Tenebrarum is an old school inspired black metal band from Mexico. Everything about this band breathes the same virulent air as bands like Marduk, Gorgoroth or Immortal. So it's no surprise that they sound very similar to these and other black metal bands. However, in todays modern black metal world, it's quite refreshing to encounter a band that still walks the old school paths with pungent riffs, punishing drums and an impressive array of hellish vocals, from gutteral growls to malignant screams.
Tradionally, the album opens with a keyboard intro, which made me think about Cradle Of Filth. Keyboards are often used to enhance the atmosphere of the songs but they rarely get the upper hand. These passages offer a very welcome breather once in a while. In 'A Sacrifice Of Useless Souls', one of the best songs on this album, the keyboards function as an ominous omen for what is about to come. And what's about to come, isn't very listener-friendly.
Another favourite is the epic 'Unholy Night Of Torment'. This song is one of the most evil and ill-natured things I've heard in a while. Driving on nearly perfect riffs and intense blastbeats, this song squirts every last piece of sanity out of the listener. In fact, listening to this song again, I'm starting to realise how damn good this album actually is.
So suddenly my mind takes me back to that one day at the end of the nineties when I listened to M?rk Gryning's 'Tusen Ar Har Gatt' and to Unlord's 'Schwarzwald' for the first time. I was amazed and mesmerized by these pieces of work and immediately bought them. Then, they were in the secondhand bin. They're classics now. 'Et Demonivm At Aeternvm' reminds me of these albums a lot. It's easy to classify this as a secondhand bin album but that would be very undeserved.
Musically, this is an outstanding black metal album with enough variation to keep the listener entertained for the full duration and even for a second spin. These Mexicans have succeeded in surprising me in a very good way and are well worth a chance. So, black metalheads from around the world, check this stuff out and meet me at the gates of hell so we can finally start dominating this despicable gathering of worms we call mankind...