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Ofermod - Mysterium Iniquitatis CD

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By now, OFERMOD should require no introduction. Formed back in the dark days of 1996, the band released their debut EP, Mystérion Tés Anomias, in 1998. Although a mere two songs, OFERMOD’s opening salvo sowed the seeds for the orthodox black metal movement that would begin to blossom in the new millennium, alongside fellow SHADOW RECORDS alumni FUNERAL MIST and MALIGN. Crime and chaos followed mainman Belfagor everywhere he went, and the band’s momentum remained halted. However, OFERMOD eventually became a working entity again, starting with 2008’s Tiamtü full-length, and through magick and will did more recordings follow: Thaumiel (2012), the two-song Serpents’ Dance EP (2014), Sol Nox (2017), and the posthumous Pentagrammaton, originally intended to be the band’s debut album. Each one put forth a pivotal piece of the ever-evolving puzzle of OFERMOD – ever the same, yet always different.

And the puzzle continues to be eternal, no matter when or how an OFERMOD recording arises. Such can be said for Mysterium Iniquitatis, which sees the original lineup joined together once again – Belfagor on guitar and vocalist Nebiros (MALIGN, MEPHORASH) – with session bass by Magnus “Devo” Andersson (ex-MARDUK) and session drums by Calle Larsson. Indeed, Mysterium Iniquitatis immediately reminds of that infinitely influential Mystérion Tés Anomias EP, but tempered by age, experience, and poise. At once martial and mesmerizing, fiery and furious, but executed with a crispness and finesse that’s the penultimate in professionalism, Mysterium Iniquitatis presents OFERMOD at their tightest and tautest, their characteristically malefic melodicism taking on new contours when put through such a startlingly accomplished soundfield. Likewise, Nebiros’ vocals bring back the grimness of yore, straddling past, present, and future with equal aplomb; his clear enunciation truly raises the hackles. The production – courtesy of Andersson at Endarker Studios – cuts like a gleaming knife and rusty axe simultaneously, the perfect iron-fisted complement to the band’s ever-surging and ceaselessly unfolding songwriting here. Special mention must be made of the male choirs on the opening title track – courtesy of Thomas Ericksson (Year of the Goat) and Lars Broddesson (ex-MARDUK) – conveying a grandiosity beyond compare.

With suitably grandiose cover artwork courtesy of John Albin Hampus Ekström, Mysterium Iniquitatis is the vital & virile entrance into OFERMOD’s fourth decade of existence.