Acherontas - Ma IoN (Formulas of Reptilian Unification) (WTC Productions)

The MAnifestatION is at an end...or is it just beginning?
Release Date: 
27 Feb 2015 - 12:30am

This is fucking good. I recall reviewing Amenti (2013) by Acherontas and getting pretty aroused by it so when Ma IoN dropped into my lap, I flung it straight on the gramophone and invoked all manner of qlippothic energies to feed on my enemies. Whether you call this stuff blackened death or ritualistic occult black metal is irrelevant; it's simply very effective stuff. Fires Of Prometheus kicks off proceedings with its dark ambient conjurations; howling, bells - the desert at night (it's all in the egg) - it builds then drops back to ambient chants in dusty crypts and invocations in gloomy spaces. The surging organ work does wonders for the piece. But then, prelimaries over, it's on to Nereid Tide Of Neptune's Rudra full of black meat goodness; one-pointed in its focus. I almost think its going into another track but that's just an aside and it keeps going until the sting of a bell which signifies the start of Convolut-ion, Manifestat-ion, Secret-ion, Karma-Iravatl The Thunders Emerged. Is it a bell or it a sacrificial knife dragged across the rim of a bloody cup? It's all flutes and mantras and this is a brief interlude before we're plunged back into the madness.

This is one of the delights of Ma-IoN; as with Amenti, the band has balanced the violence of the black metal against some splendid dark ambient pieces (again Emma Ya is credited as a guest on here, as well as members from Abigor, Malign, Nightbringer and a raft of other genius musicians. Suddenly Ma-Ion 'Formulas Of Reptilian Unification' kicks the temple doors in with fuzzy picking...did it just get colder in here? There's blasting and roaring throaty vocals. The guitar work is of a sexual nature. At one point the pace seems to slow (it doesn't) and, if you were so inclined, you could probably structure an entire ritual around this album's development. In comes another breathing space in the form of Permutation In The Aetheric Void (Ma-Ion Sacred Seal) with definte Emme Ya fingerprints on it; it's got a middle-eastern vibe and continues into Shaman And The Waning Moon which is slinky and continues that sexual vibe.

The balance between the mental and the mellow is well struck but some folk might find the ambient to black metal ratio a tad too much - not I though; I'm digging it - and thus continues the rest of the album. Roaring black metal punctuated by dark strings and dark ritualised ambience punctuated by le metal noir. I'm not breaking this down any further because you need to penetrate the temple for yourself - tear the veils aside and invoke fuck knows what - just don't get trapped on the other side of the tree. Blasting black metal with gorgeous ambience that both arouses and frightens (much like dear old Nurse). Lovely.