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'Visions From The Throne Of Eyes'
(Humanity's Plague Productions)

jools green

Jools Green


'Visions From The Throne Of Eyes' by Canadian Black Metal outfit Idolatry is an album, the arrival of which has been awaited with much anticipation on my part, since becoming aware of its ongoing creation and pending release.

The thread began with their self titled EP, which drew my attention to the band and has been maintained ever since, largely due to the many other linked projects of the bands mastermind Lord Matzigkeitus and like all his creative involvements since that EP, 'Visions From The Throne Of Eyes' is yet another work that will provoke thoughts as you listen. This is not a passive sit back and listen album, it is as good Black Metal should be, challenging.

Indeed 'Idolatry' have continued to up their game with this nine track, forty-three minute release. The production is clearer so there's a much better definition to all the instrumentation but without losing that important raw edge, something I had hoped for and Lord Matzigkeitus's vocal range has continued to expand also in both lyrical clarity and extremes of levels reached, both high and low as well as power of delivery, sounding like not one vocalist but a whole army of vocalists assaulting your senses with his remarkable and varied style. Canada's answer to Gaahl?... could well be...

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The opening track, 'Visions From Tthe Throne Of Eyes (Pt. I)' serves as an intro although it is so much more than just that, haunting, effectively delivered, simple repeat notes and a spoken dialogue that manifests as a voice which descends into more evil and sinister tones as it progresses, setting the scene for an album that will take you on a journey into the darkest depths.

One of the many aspects of this release that excites me is that it continues to bring to life another selection of lyrics/poems from Lord Matzigkeitus's book of Black Metal poetry, 'Catharsis Spoke Her Virtuous Evil', including the hugely exciting 'Cathartic Expulsion Of Shrieking Sorrow' with its dark haunting opener that expands out to some of the most memorable riffing of the album. I love the guitar work on this track and also how it totally takes you by surprise. There's a sudden drum battery and the tempo takes off at a breathtaking pace with more high screams inhabiting well placed tempo drops.

Continuing with more extracts from the book, 'Satanas Haxan', here powerful riffing forms an addictive repeat and on 'Anachronistic Might Of Spellcasting' the opening guitar work has a wonderfully classic feel, continuing on to form the backbone of this track with manic tempo shifts which are guaranteed to set your head spinning and drops that descend into pure evil, particularly with the closing spoken lines, yet another favourite of mine from the book that I was very pleased to hear set to music.

The final two extracted from the book are 'Tiamatic Winds', crushing and manic from the offset with an intense wall of riffing enhanced with blistering screams and powerful swathes of drum work causing you to feel like you are being swept away amongst the debris of some manic storm, along with tempo drops that have a chunky groove to the riffs, ending on a demonic howl and 'Imperator Nero Murmurationis Hortum' which boasts an abundance of slower, heavy yet powerful riffs, garnished with soaring extended screams, a nice lead repeat and deep spoken cleans.

The drum work has a precise deliberate quality to its delivery but the pinnacle is the spoken segment just after the five minute mark, such powerfully delivered bellowing shouts they cut you to the quick and send shudders through you, as does the sound of flames and screams to close.

Regarding the other compositions, 'Thunder From The Depths' is exactly as you would expect, a thunderous, crushing offering that gallops along, sweeping everything up in its wake and there is an ominous midpoint drop away with sinister spoken lyrics that has the hair standing on the back of your neck as the vocals become manic and tormented, with the galloping pace resuming to the close.

'Illuminated Ominous Darkness' opens on hugely memorable, dirty, old school style, repeat riffs. The direction changes are insane, in a good way, and the vocals range from manic to haunting with another superb mid track drop away where the vocals once again excel in their range and delivery to create a track that is both powerful and moving.

Other band members play active roles in the creation of this release. The lyrics to 'Visions From The Throne Of Eyes (Pt. II)' were written by Daemonkus Abominor, the band's drummer and is such an anthem like offering with huge swathes of dramatic repeat riffing to open, along with pummelling drums over a subtle blackened melody and sinister haunting vocals, coupled with demonic screaming, brought to its zenith with manic riffing that has a subtle, off kilter edge.

The cover work is by the superb artist Jan Pysander Whitney, who was responsible for the book artwork also completing 'Visions From The Throne Of Eyes' which is simply an unadulterated Black Metal offering that is an excellent listen end to end.

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