As any dedicated observer of the underground will tell you, there is never a shortage of new black and death metal music being made. If it’s quantity you want, the underground will provide, and often with some quality thrown in too. But it remains a daunting challenge to sift the very finest, black-hearted outpourings from the general, gruesome deluge of noisemakers, particularly in the realm of underground black metal. Fortunately, records like “Decapitate The Aging World” make it easy. Atmosphere is utterly pivotal to black metal’s spirit and appeal, and whether through judgement, intuition or dumb luck, this one-man German blitzkrieg has conjured a debut record that absolutely brims with the stuff. Coupled with songwriting that plunders the best of black metal’s second wave, without ever resorting to imitation or mindless nostalgia, and FURIS IGNIS may be the best thing to happen to necro-minded, balls-out grandeur in a long time.
The opening “Witness The Nightsky Palpitating To The Beat Of Premonition” sets the tone with the kind of wide-eyed abandon that made EMPEROR‘s early works so riveting and seminal. Pleasingly, however, FURIS IGNIS have their own subtly malevolent melodic streak and nothing here owes its soul to the past as a result. “Hostis Mundi” is a proud and punishing mid-paced tirade, with shades of the Hellenic underground, but also propelled along by a rugged muscularity, common in the German scene and never less than fearsome. Behind the cudgeling riffs and martial pomp, ethereal keyboards shimmer and haze like peripheral vapor trails from some lysergic fever dream, but this is brutally focused stuff; neither bogged down in rudimentary devilry, nor beholden to progress. Songs like “Guarding The Gate” nimbly shimmy across the dividing line between all-out violence and mesmerizing, circular noise, with hellish shrieks and roars billowing out like clouds of toxic menace, and clanging, discordant chord progressions that speak of untold horrors.
After the vexed, ghoulish ambience of “Zinnen Von Els”, FURIS IGNIS hit peak heavy metal on the crushing, panzer-rumble of “C.B.M.G.3”: a runaway, Teutonic bulldozer with ACCEPT and VENOM in its veins. In stark contrast, the closing “Donner In Den Bergen” is harrowing and haunted, a slithering, blackened eulogy, steeped in the feral wisdom of the early ’90s. It is blessed with some truly scorching lead work, but firmly planted in the bewildering fog of the here and now.
This is a straightforwardly killer debut: strident, bombastic, creative and darker than all unholy fuck. Sometimes, the really good stuff just leaps out at you, bloody blade in hand.