There’s something deeply unsettling about The Enthronement Ov Diabolical Souls, the first full-length offering from Slovenia’s Cvinger. It may not present much that is new to the realm of black/death metal, but what it does possess is an aura and feeling that is resolutely dark and trve, and this sense of conviction more than makes up for any perceived lack of innovation. Evil and satanic in nature, these tracks are not so much songs as they are offerings, or hymns to the darkness. Which is only fitting for a band whose name references the walls that separated those who died by their own hand from the rest of the cemetery.
Beginning with the disturbing introductory track “Chapter I: Charons Passage To The World Beyond” (one of three “Chapter” tracks add further atmosphere to the album), The Enthronmenet Ov Diabolical Souls soon throws you in to a maelstrom of death and darkness, full of pummelling drums, vicious riffs and tremolo leads, and vocals that channel every evil thought and idea you ever had. It is gripping in its intensity and fury, and when the Gregorian Chant-style vocals make themselves known, as during “Anno Inferni” and at the beginning of “Summoning”, it is thoroughly disturbing.
Even if the band term themselves as black metal, there is plenty of death metal on show here – the opening to “Reclaim The Crown” would do many of the big death metal bands proud. There is a sense of heaviness to the music that is missing in much underground black metal. The guitars have a real sense of weight to them, especially when they alternate palm-muted riffs with quick, vicious movements, as on “Eikmus Manifestation”. The drums are perhaps the chief culprit for the heaviness though, placed fairly prominently in the mix and often blasting away with gleeful abandon. It’s not a primitive display of power, though – there are plenty of fills and movements to keep things interesting, and Morgoth knows when to ease off slightly for the good of the song, even if such changes hardly break the mould. In that, they keep with the overall impression of the album – hardly revolutionary, but composed and played with such skill and passion that it is impossible not to get swept along.
What crowns the album, though, is the performance from vocalist Lucerus. Deeper than most black metal vocals, his vocals undeniable power and authority, adding that bit of something extra to lyrics that fit well within the black/death paradigm. As with the rest of the album, they are further proof that you do not have to do something all that new to be noteworthy – you simply have to do what you do well. And believe me, Cvinger do what they do very well. This is a superb offering of black/death metal, and deserves to be heard.