Bastard death legions from the bowels of the underworld. Petrification’s old school death metal trudge batters the flesh and smashes bone with the cruelty of an orc unleashed from hell. Their debut demo tape “Summon Horrendous Destruction” is a glorious onslaught of mummified and gross as fuck old school death metal for fans of Autopsy, Nihilist, Grave, Cruciamentum, Disma etc
The Dark Erudition was a definite oddity, arriving as an added bonus to his original order of a single album from a different band. The man noted the band's name, Mysticism Black, and knew this to be the one man project of Ceremonial Casting's keyboardist, Old Nick. Disappointment didn't seem likely though, the man had nothing but pleasant experiences with Old Nick's work on his main band, and the idea of him doing wrong was ridiculous. Still, one person, especially one whom his only past knowledge was playing keyboard instruments, doing everything on an album felt strange, and yet somewhat exciting at the same time. Resolving to reserve judgment until the album concluded, he popped it out of the jewel case and placed it in his stereo. At the very least it was going to add a period of dearly needed interest to an otherwise boring day.
His curiosity heightened as the opening track, Erudition Part I – Knowledge, began. Old Nick's signature keyboards set a pleasantly melancholic tone for the album, giving off a vibe almost resembling folk towards the two minute mark. It wasn't building to anywhere in particular, and it felt like this was to be forty minutes of quality atmospheric black metal. Not as interesting as he hoped, but it would serve well enough. He let the meandering keys drift in and out of his head, enjoying the tranquility brought on by them. Then it all went to hell.
The raw production slammed into his head on with the force of a derailed freight train. The typical high pitched, blood curdling screaming, as well as heavily distorted, rapid guitar picking filled his ear drums to the brim, threatening to overwhelm him. Cymbals and bass drums pounded relentlessly in the background, though decisively less audible than the other instruments. Albums such as Nattens Madrigal and Strength and Anger popped into his mind as sounding similar, yet they were on a far more extreme level of rawness than this.
Chaos continued to flow from the remaining five tracks. He found himself violently head banging at the entirety of the non Erudition-themed tracks; Motorium Transcendence, Defilement of the Essence, and My Lord. All had a similar structure to them, starting out with rapid and crushing riffs laid on top of steady beats, followed by switching and alternating between calmer, albeit brief periods. All the while Old Nick's pained, bestial screams rained over the music; an omnipresence of vehemence and hatred. The other two parts to the Dark Erudition; Wisdom and The Highest Order, focused heavily on the atmospheric aspects of black metal, though they didn't stray far at all from the raw intensity shown on the previous tracks. Though neither contained the introductory keyboards he loves so much at the start of Knowledge, they carried on for just as long. The Highest Order actually reminded him more of the other three tracks, standing as ten-and-a-half minutes of constant harsh brutality, easily outshining every other track on the album.
Satisfaction raced through him upon the conclusion of the album. Old Nick was indeed adept in all instruments in the metal ensemble, and his ability to compose a song, especially those hovering around the ten minute mark. The one real complain he had was the lack of keyboards, the instruments he undoubtedly played the best. Besides the introduction of Knowledge, and the closing two-and-a-half minutes of The Highest Order, they hardly had more than a quiet background presence. Still, he couldn't find any overarching faults in the music; it was woven together well, and the resulting sound was one of beauty, despite the rawness and brutality. He would recommend Mysticism Black to any fan of Ceremonial Castings, as well as those who enjoy extremely raw black metal.
In a way, the fact that the album deviated away from the symphonic style of Ceremonial Castings was refreshing. The absence of pristine keyboard sections was a slight disappointment, but he'd already heard it before with the other band. Producing this album with a more typical, albeit raw, black metal feeling was a good move on his part, rather than risking the presence of recycled melodies. Via Metal-Archives
Listen to the full show including both interviews here!