Thursday, September 1, 2011

Mortuus Caelum - Macto Interitum Mundi (2006)

Macto Interitum Mundi is one of those bustling, business-as-usual black metal efforts which is likely to appeal only to those who aren't tired to death with the underlying concepts of the genre. As often as not, the formula seems to suffice, and while I can't credit Mortuus Caelum with having created some cult conquest upon their debut, the Greeks seem simple and sincere enough that fans of the lesser produced, tremolo driven grimness might seek not to let it slip their attentions. There is definitely an encompassing of the atmospheres so potent in Transilvanian Hunger, De Mysteriis dom Sathanas, and Det Some Engang Var: the riffs drive the music, the drums and hoarse rasping are kept very level in the mix, and you get this overall mid-frequency through its organic, crashing tumult.

A suitable dark ambient intro ("Uncreated Existence") and a more harrowing, ambient interlude complete with percussion and screaming ("Deep Nostalgia") are pretty much the only breaks in the grimy, blasphemous action. The rest of the record moves at a streamlined, blasting pace that relies heavily on its guitars to produce both momentum and memorable patterns. Some of the songs succeed in this endeavor far more than others. "Segregate World", for example, operates through a straightforward tremolo rhythm which seems like one of the first things anyone would produce when first delving into the medium on the instrument; but it functions, where other pieces like "Holocaust Divine", "Burning the Astral Winds" and "Under the Crown of Sin" all seem to blend together into a mosaic of conventions. Not that they're necessarily bad, any of them, but it's just so much easier to pick out "The Glorious Battalion" or the swaggering intro gait of "Genitive Loathing" for at least getting the blood up for a moment or so.

It's exactly what you expect when you pick up an underground black metal album, from it's black and white imagery of a crumbling fortification wall, standard if cool looking logo and title font to the actual breadth of the music. The vocals are mediocre if efficient, never quite that evil, but totally within the confines of the form. I mentioned that the mix of the instruments was very level here, and I actually do admire that the band were able to get consistent results from what is a pretty lo-fi recording. You won't be tearing out your ears listening to this, but it feels as if it could be entirely reproduced by listening in on a rehearsal session (nothing wrong with that). In the end, though, Macto Interitum Mundi's Latin-scripted debut is neither paradigm shifting or foundation shaking enough to forgive its admittedly average writing for its sense of purism. I've heard far worse. I've heard far better.

Verdict: Indifference [6.25/10]

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