DE MAGIA VETERUM — Spikes Through Eyes (review)

DE MAGIA VETERUM — Spikes Through Eyes album cover Album · 2005 · Black Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
siLLy puPPy
DE MAGIA VETERUM has been just one of the many aliases of Dutch metal mastermind Maurice “Mories” de Jong who has racked up a long list of alter egos each with its own musical canon including Astral, Black Mouth of Spite, Caput Mortuum, Cloak of Altering, Dimlit Hate Cellar, Gnaw Their Tongues, Golden Ashes, Hagetisse, Mories, Offerbeest, Ophiuchus, Pyriphlegethon, Seirom, The Sombre and Temple of Will. Not to mention his many collaborations with others in bands like The Nefarious Cult and Obscuring Veil.

Despite its all perhaps the most restless and avant-garde of de Jong’s metal madness comes in his project known as DE MAGIA VETERUM and the album SPIKES THROUGH EYES was the debut released as a CD-R in 2005 however just to make things more complicated the album was re-released under the title VERUS DIUINUS MAGUS in 2008 and then back SPIKES THROUGH EYES for the 2009 digital file release! OMG, what’s this dude smoking? :D

The original SPIKES THROUGH EYES hosted six tracks which clocked in shy of 29 minutes but the VERUS DIUINUS MAGUS version adds two bonus tracks bringing the playing time up to just shy of 40 minutes! Hell fucking yeah! This is a one-man band all the way with Mories playing guitar, bass, drums, keyboards as well as screaming his ass off. VERUS (as i will refer to this album since i’m reviewing the extended version with nine tracks) is based in extremely brutal black metal with fast tempos but also incorporates symphonic elements as well as avant-garde weirdness that takes the listener on one of the wildest and most unpredictable black metal experiences this side of Hades.

While the rampaging black metal moments will swear you are listening to Darkthrone on speed, the non-metal moments bring out true eerie soundtrack features that sound like haunted houses and other creepy sound textures where the synthesizers are let loose like rabid bats at grandma’s bingo gathering where all hell breaks loose. There are also moments of quiet dungeon synth and ambient chill outs but what stands out most are how the brutal black metal guitar riffs are juxtaposed with the energetic synth runs that craft a diabolical sounding counterpoint. While the black metal is expressed in the furor and distortion tones, there are also classic metal guitar solos and some angular moments of über-weirdness but for the most part this is like tripping on some drug while traversing some sort of darkened Goth rave with a black metal band following you wherever you try to run and hide!

There are also some sound samples here and there especially from some of those Halloween samplers. There’s no difference really between the original SPIKES and the bonus tracks of VERUS. In fact for some reason the Bandcamp version of VERUS has still two more bonus tracks bringing the total up to 10! Basically this is some of the most spastic over-the-top black metal you can possibly experience. There is a dramatic exuberance here that keeps this album flapping around aimlessly like a downed power line falling into a salt bath. It’s just crazy as fuck and the unpredictability of it is definitely part of the charm.

Think of early Summoning before the dungeon synth sophomore album only on methamphetamines and no real direction at all. The music is for the most part rampaging on extremely fast tempos with only a few moments of downtime to catch your breath. The use of synths is highly creative and unlike any other black metal albums i’ve heard. This is highly recommended for those who love adventurous hairpin turn extreme metal that takes a cue from math rock and turns everything up to 11 and beyond. Add a few piano rolls, a bunch of freaky special effects and you have a bonafide nutter on the loose! Heh, love it!
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UMUR wrote:
39 days ago
Mories is a musical genius IMO. Of course there are things in his vast discography that aren´t as interestering as other things, but I´m generally a huge fan of his work.

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