Ignis Sacer; songs lamenting a failing system. As the World heads towards oblivion with unchecked growth sees capitalist greed choking democracy, while global temperatures rise at an alarming rate, the inevitable result will be fire – wild forest fires plaguing the landscape and the fires lit in the cities by the disenfranchised. That’s the view of Stockholm, Sweden Black Metal act Regnvm Animale, who have chosen it as a theme for their fourth release and first as a quartet as they impart lyrical themes deal with alienation and breaking the shackles of modern society.
Citing influences in Darkthrone, Primordial, Acursed and Amebix, Jens Waldenström (vocals), Eldar Fallahi (drums), Nayeem Mahbub (guitars) and Jörgen Björklund (bass) have produced an EP that blends sound blends icy atmosphere, melody and punk-infused energy together without compromise. Introduction piece “Att Leva Utan Självaktning” (or “Living Without Self-Defense“) is a melancholic spoken word a gentle Hammond organ backing that makes way for the first song proper in “Interregnum“. Here’s where things get intriguing because the opening moments are atmospheric Black Folk Metal, while the chorus is musically Celtic Folk Punk and the space between is anything else. The drums pound along nicely, the guitars are raw and melodic with acoustic and electric parts interweaving and you couldn’t help but chant the abrasively delivered chorus, even if you don’t speak the bands language. Waldenström could certainly lend is throat to a number of vocal styles with some spoken word and some shrill screams on the darker atmosphered title track “Ignis Sacer“. That brings with it short bursts of blast beats with that raw quality that sounds like the band performing in a cave making us crack a knowing smile. Bursts of lead and little nuanced guitar and bass moments will keep you coming back to this one as there is so much going on that its a difficult to take it all in over the first few spins.
The more traditional Black Metal of “Missväxt” (or “Misgrowth“) makes for perhaps easier listening with similarities in approach to bands like Accursed Years with a fine ebb and flow in the guitar work that builds from the melodic side into blistering passages of abrasiveness, so much so, you could almost call it progressive at times. Closer “Suveränitetserosion” (or “Erosion of Sovereignty“) sees Fallahi bring almost tribal drum fills to the opening onslaught before the headlong nose dive into blast beats accompanied by a bloodcurdling scream from Waldenström and when the verses hit there are places that in isolation, you could be listening to Post-Hardcore. Indeed if you’ve heard the work of Harakiri For The Sky then you’ll know what we’re referring to here as both bands cross similar territories with this ripper of a finale. There is an accompanying instrumental that fades to black as the crows call, a Traditional Metal piece ensemble that we’d love to hear more of. All in all, Regnvm Animale have created something that purists will hate but that fans will cry out for [7/10]
Att Leva Utan Självaktning
“Ignis Sacer” by Regnvm Animale is out 24th January 2021 via Stockholm-based DIY independent label Deutsche Bulvan Bolag and is available for pre-order over at bandcamp.