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Migdal Bavel

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Album Review

Do not adjust your stereo. There's nothing actually wrong with your equipment's reproduction of De Magia Veterum's Migdal Bavel album; it's just that transmissions from the ninth circle of hell can be really spotty; hence the static-like feedback buzz assailing this already challenging music. In all seriousness, this one-Dutchman operation spares no effort to advance black metal's misanthropic agenda, whether through sheer sonic terrorism (see sand-blasting onslaughts like "The Confusion of Tongues," "The Boat of Uta-Napishtim," and "Zaota"), or impressive avant-garde rule breaking (ergo the title track's free jazz percussion and synthesizer hiccups, the serpentine piano tap-dance of "I Am the Vine," and the bubbling synthesized orchestrations of "Rapture"). The only shared traits amongst all of these multiple personalities are manic speed and shocking violence, but then the comparatively silent "Interlude I: The Ruins of Copan" counters even this agenda with its intermittent wooden creaks backed by howling winds, It's not exactly music, but it's just as scary as the rest. And the lyrics explore themes and legends drawn from the cradle of civilization in similarly meticulous detail, if you can decipher them through the screeching, of course. Which is to say that Migdal Bavel is not for everyone (or most anyone at all, come to think of it), but for fans of Anaal Nathrakh, Blut Aus Nord, Xasthur, and even the comparatively sophisticated Emperor, De Magia Veterum will sound like the next, best step towards achieving personal musical Armageddon.


Formed: Netherlands

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

De Magia Veterum is a one-man avant-garde black metal project helmed by the ubiquitous Mories, or simply M., who also participates in bands like Ophiuchus, Pompidou, Aderlating, Dimlit Hate Cellar, Astral, Cauteror, Soulwound, Atrocious, and the experimental music ensemble Gnaw Their Tongues. Beginning in 2003, De Magia Veterum has been quite prolific, releasing 2004's Clavicula Salomonis demo, 2005's Spikes Through Eyes album, 2006's The Blood of Prophet and Saints EP, 2007's The Apocalyptic Seven...
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Migdal Bavel, De Magia Veterum
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