Rex Mundi - IHVH Review
by Matt Hensch
Little is known about Rêx Mündi. Most of the information surrounding the band is shady at best, and even their origin (they're French, apparently) is deeply questionable based on a lack of facts produced by empty sources and band members sitting calmly on the informational DL, so to speak. The mystery shrouding Rêx Mündi makes the black metal madness of "IHVH" that much more interesting—the idea of anonymity in black metal has been done to death, but the element remains incredibly important to some of the sub-genre's elite squads like Deathspell Omega, for instance. Rêx Mündi's place in this esoteric realm sticks to the basics of black metal, yet there are some very interesting testimonies floating around this unique piece of philosophical darkness, and maybe some that are truly excellent in nature as well.
Rêx Mündi's approach could be synchronized with some of their supposed countrymen like Deathspell Omega or Blut Aus Nord—not to imply the band has purely authentic connections on the musical end to either group, mind you. Their style is fairly basic and not, making use of the typical guitar and percussion work often found in black metal — tremolo picking, blast beats, slow riffing sections that can elevate levels of paranoia at night, etc. — which are all condensed into songs that generally spark beyond five minutes (up to ten on a few occasions) with several sections stitched within each gospel. They aren't doing anything remotely original in the process, but the apparent frenchies have some truly remarkable sections in the woodwork. "Naphtali" and "The Flesh Begat" have an overload of memorable moments both catchy and instrumentally impressive through the shifting mold of cataclysmic guitar work and overall extremity following Rêx Mündi's blackened blood, and it's a theme they thankfully utilize for the whole album.
The vocal efforts of Metatron (no relation to the dude from The Meads of Asphodel) are chillingly brutal and harsh; his vocal passage within a certain section of "J'imagine (Be-Reshit)" is almost frightening, really. All seven tracks are enjoyable, but I have to say "Naphtali" and "Raising My Temples" are probably the finest cuts, with the former displaying an infernal slice of black metal at its grimmest while the later builds up for eleven minutes and uses effective repetition to make it one hell of a fine finale. The production is much more on the digitalized side than the raw, ravenous recordings most black metal bands use, but still, the sound quality fits the musical message appropriately and the gentlemen of Rêx Mündi walk away with an impressive release under their demonic tunics.
Rex Mundi - IHVH
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