VI – “De Praestigiis Angelorum” (Agonia Records)
Screaming black metal from France! A blasphemous trinity made up of members of Aosoth, Antaeus and Merrimack, VI’s ferocity is undoubted given the usual trademark haunting atmosphere, screeching vocals and blast beat frenzy, but nothing could prepare me for Invri’s exquisite guitar work that was truly masterful with its powerful, spell bounding melodies that permeated the eight epic tracks on this impressive debut full-length album. Never have I heard melody so pronounced and dominating on a black metal album, endlessly churned out from dark metallic clanging to evil licks and wild fret board sliding along with some truly epic soloing – man, this guy is just all over everything scything and drilling away as if possessed by the dark lord himself! With unconventional song titles like ‘Par le jugement causé par ses poisons’, ‘Voilà l’homme qui ne te prenait pas comme Seigneur’ and ‘Une place parmi les morts’ and equally a much longer song length around the 7 minute mark compared to the average black metal band, the illumination that VI bring is beholden to none. If you want something truly avant-garde then look no farther than this suave trio who really do bring something different and special on “De Praestigiis Angelorum”!