Black metal often receives a bad rap for sounding, well, bad. Tinny highs and mids, almost nonexistent bass, and compressed, ultra-reverberated vocals howled at such pitches and shrieks that they become almost unintelligible amidst the cacophony of cymbals and guitars have been the norm in the genre for over twenty years.
Thank Satan, though, over the past decade or so, an ever increasing number of black metal acts have embraced the concepts of proper production and mixing/mastering whilst in the studio, and in the “as above, so below” spirit, they have also brought these concepts to their live performances – and the end result has been a veritable explosion of black metal acts bursting onto the international stage to much fanfare and acclaim.
With that in mind, it is time to add Kouvola, Finland’s Aegrus to the growing list of capable black metal groups who have shunned the anachronous traditions of obstreperous discord and cheap, muddled recording and mixing. Instead, Aegrus offers up to the masses their third full length studio effort, In Manus Satanas (Saturnal Records), and it is audibly clear that this band wants the listener to hear every note, every scream, and every invocation in glorious, unimpeded lucidity.
In Manus Satanas is eight tightly produced tracks of Satanic praise in black metal form that is an absolute joy to listen to. From the very start of “Hymn to The Firewinged One” to the fading end of the closing title track, this album delivers the goods, both in composition AND presentation.
Some the finest selections on Aegrus’s In Manus Satanas include “Nightspirit Theosis”, “Gestalt of Perdition”, the first single “Nemesis”, and the stunning, eight-plus-minute title track, “In Manus Satanas”.
In Manus Satanas is available worldwide as of October 11th, 2019. Be sure to listen to "Nemesis" by pressing play below, then go grab a copy, light a black candle, and hail Satan! \m/
Rating: 8.75 / 10
Release Date: October 11th, 2019 (Saturnal Records)
Influences and Contemporaries: Archgoat, Black Witchery, Watain, Behexen, Vortex of End, Nocturnes Mist, Arctos