Oh dear, not another one of these. My nightmare in truest form: generic black/death metal! No! It seems that whenever I finally finish reviewing an album which tests my personal vendetta against such genre-splicing even further, in rolls another record. I hate karma.
And do you know what else I hate? I hate Sweden's black/death metal outfit Vanmakt. Simply put, this record is horrendous in every way it mocks artistic value, musical appreciation, creativity, and the idea of passable music. Instead, Ad Luciferi Regnum wallows in a totalitarian disaster of craft, fallen within an abysmal trench beyond safety or sanctuary, utilizing what little it has to save itself from total annihilation noise and mega-scary anti-religious rhetoric. Essentially, Vanmakt have created the ultimate stereotypical death/black metal album, and for many reasons, I declare this unlistenable.
It would not be a grand waste of my time to specifically label and color every aspect of Vanmakt. In fact, it is really simple actually. For about eighty percent of the record, envision mega-fast tremolo picking and blast beats. Viola! I'd like to point out a band which does the caffeinated black/death approach identically yet with excellent precision: In Aeternum. Listening to Ad Luciferi Regnum triggered a personal craving for In Aeternum's The Pestilent Plague, and although they are essentially identical musically, both worlds have nothing alike. The Pestilent Plague spotlights some of the most savage, demonic black/death metal riffs one could hear while mid-paced section appear to bash in one's skull with maddening percussion which typically applies blast beats but shakes overuse wonderfully. Overall, it is THE black/death metal anthem. This sucker, however, lives in its shadow and does not hold a spark to the raging inferno of In Aeternum's blackened mastery.
The remaining material, however, consists of musical fabric not raped by such generic qualities. Vanmakt applies this strange tendency to use haunting, atmospheric bridges during intros, verses, or conclusions, but although original in nature, the patterns start interesting and promising before essentially fading into the commonplace. When mentioning positives, the galloping thrash riff jumpstarting "The Second Key" makes the song interesting at best and I also find the mid-paced section during "Brethren of Lucifer" enjoyable, but that is really all I can say about decency or entertainment. The vocals are alright, but who gives a damn? I heard this record before I actually listened to it! Enjoy the remaining tracks which work like non-addictive sleeping pills!
Harsh tremolo picking, blast beats, screams, blast beats, sub-par female vocals, blast beats
I got it the first time I listened to this banal formula so many bands like this apply with the poorest of executions. Ad Luciferi Regnum suffers greatly from the disdainful lack of variety throughout, but the impure, deconstructive, and harnessing essence of Vanmakt is certainly an attractive one to say the least
that is, until five minutes pass; CD players have power buttons for a reason. Those that enjoy senseless black/death metal with nothing but razor-sharp furiousness at helm with most likely find a gem here. I, on the other hand, will probably never listen to Ad Luciferi Regnum again.
The Second Key
Brethren of Lucifer
Ad Luciferi Regnum
Id XIII Inferni
Beneath the Moor
Written in Blood