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Ad Luciferi Regnum

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Album Review

To hear black metal's detractors tell it, all black metal is nothing more than a bunch of Satanists showing off their corpse paint, belting out rasped vocals that render lyrics indecipherable, and engaging in sensory assault for the sake of sensory assault. Well, some black metal bands do fit that stereotype, but the truth is that black metal became increasingly diverse as it went along. The more extreme black metal can be unapologetically vicious, but black metal also has its share of melodic, nuanced, highly musical bands that incorporate elements of traditional Scandinavian folk and cherish the art of songcraft. Further, there are numerous black metal bands that are interested in Viking paganism but could care less about Satanism and the occult. All that said, Vanmakt are a Swedish black metal band who live up to many of the stereotypes on their second full-length album, Ad Luciferi Regnum. Satanism is a prominent theme on this 2008 recording; one of the songs is titled "Brethren of Lucifer," and the raspy vocals of lead singer A. Svensson, aka Gorgoth, do render most of the lyrics indecipherable on a disc that is about high-speed bombast above all else. Clearly, this isn't symphonic black metal; Vanmakt favor the Gorgoroth/Marduk side of things, which means that Ad Luciferi Regnum is harsh, bombastic, and decidedly vicious. Occasionally, Vanmakt provide a melodic passage and give listeners some breathing room, but most of the time, this 49-minute CD favors a scorched-earth policy. Some black metal purists will admire the uncompromising approach that Vanmakt bring to this effort.

Biography

Formed: 2006 in Sweden

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

A Swedish black metal band formed in 2006 by Gorgoth (screams, guitar, drum programming) and Vladr (bass), Vanmakt (whose name means "powerless," curiously enough) draw inspiration primarily from Norwegian legends Emperor for their deeply satanic, brutally frenzied, yet majestic and semi-symphonic compositions. Issued in 2006, the Diaboli Lubeo, Para Vindicta demo caught the attention of several independent labels, but Vanmakt eventually decided to sign with Singapore's Pulverised Records, calling...
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Ad Luciferi Regnum, Vanmakt
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