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Veneration Of Medieval Mysticism And Cosmological Violence

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Veneration Of Medieval Mysticism And Cosmological Violence
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Type: Full-Length
Release Date: January 26th, 2024
Genre: Black
1. Witchcraft Within A Gothic Tomb
2. Crown Of Light And Constellations
3. A Hidden Ceremony Of Blood And Flesh
4. Force Of Death Is The Force Of Life
5. Memories Within An Empty Castle In Ruins
6. Primordial Philosophy And Pure Spirit
7. Infinity Is The Aeon Of Satan
8. Pathway Of Light Is A Pathway To Fire
9. Light Of My Dark Essence
10. Secrets From The Wizard Forest Of Forbidden Knowledge
11. Sorcery Through Crystal Eyes In Search Of The Devil
12. Veneration Of Medieval Mysticism And Cosmological Violence
13. Lord Of Absolute Darkness And Infinite Light

Review by Vladimir on February 27, 2024.

Whenever someone mentions the words “American black metal”, one of the names that instantly comes to mind has to be Inquisition, and that’s a cold-hearted fact. The band has been going strong for three decades now, and they are still putting out some quality content for the masses to worship. As of recently, they released their ninth full-length album Veneration Of Medieval Mysticism And Cosmological Violence via Agonia Records on January 26th, 2024, and fans were yet again stoked to hear this one. Was it worth the wait? Let’s find out… 

Without a second to waste, Inquisition starts blasting from the very get-go with the opening track 'Witchcraft Within A Gothic Tomb' that tells you right off the bat that this is going to be the classical Inquisition you know and love, which once again strikes hard with heavy bass boosted guitars, blast beat drums and Dagon’s harsh grim vocals. Their traditional style and musical formula would be carried over throughout the rest of the album, which along the way would be only expanded with other additions that come to play. Speaking of these additions, there are a couple of exemplary songs on this album, but as a good place to start with would be the tracks 'Crown Of Light And Constellations' and 'Secrets From The Wizard Forest Of Forbidden Knowledge' that include some unusually epic goat-like vocals by Dagon, and I personally found it to be a very solid vocal performance despite its highly perplexing nature, more so perplexing than his long-gone frog vocals when I heard them for the first time. Other examples that have a couple of nice inclusions is 'Memories Within An Empty Castle In Ruins' with some strong accented and atmospheric keyboards handled by Dagon, 'Primordial Philosophy And Pure Spirit' which took on a bit more melodic approach, and the last two tracks 'Sorcery Through Crystal Eyes In Search Of The Devil' and 'Veneration Of Medieval Mysticism And Cosmological Violence' which have some cosmic and atmospheric sections that build up to the album’s epic finale in the form of the ambient outro track 'Lord Of Absolute Darkness And Infinite Light'

Speaking of the album’s songwriting, it is very standard for Inquisition to have a strong stylistic consistency in their music with a heavily formulaic songwriting, and for a band such Inquisition it really is no surprise that they are sticking to their traditional sound, which is definitely the case for other black metal bands such as Immortal, Marduk, Dark Funeral, Necrophobic and others. While some may argue that this is a flaw or a major stagnation, I’d say that it is just a case of “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it”, and I would much rather have Inquisition do what they do best than reinvent the wheel. In the case of the band’s overall performance, their musical aggression is still highly effective and powerful on this album, with each song being on point and expressive, which is like a one big flame carried over from one song to another, while keeping the torch still lit. On the other hand, what I think is really the biggest subject of criticism is the change in Dagon’s vocals, and it’s not so much because he hasn’t been doing his iconic signature frog-like vocal style for some time, but mostly due to the fact that Dagon pretty much sounds like Abbath now, or even more Abbath than Abbath does ever since he left Immortal. I personally didn’t mind this so much at first, because they managed to fit quite nicely with the overall instrumental performance and no one can deny the fact that Dagon still did a pretty good job, but at some point, I started feeling like the vocal change does slightly affect Inquisition’s musical identity and what really made them unique. Still however, if you manage to look aside from these minor issues, you will see that you still have plenty to enjoy and immerse yourself into. As for the album’s production, it still uses that very highly distorted and bass boosted guitar sound that has been a standard with the majority of Inquisition’s discography, which has become synonymous with the band as their main feature. 

Overall, I did enjoy Veneration Of Medieval Mysticism And Cosmological Violence for being another thrill-ride, despite at times feeling like I’ve already been through this for the last 5 albums. I think that the new album is somewhat more superior and heavier than its predecessor Black Mass For A Mass Grave from 2020, however I still think that both albums show a great example of Inquisition standing tall on a large pedestal as one of the highly sought-after black metal bands of the 21st century. Fans have already heard this album upon its release and have expressed their feelings towards it, but if you haven’t yet heard this one but you are familiar with Inquisition and their discography, don’t miss out on it and just give it a go. 

Rating: 8.3 out of 10