Mortualia – Blood of the Hermit album review

Mortualia - Album cover

Under-produced and sounding like it was recorded in a cave MORTUALIA shows that true Black Metal never actually disappeared – The pure rawness of the album in general is downright beautiful in each and every sense.

“Blood of the Hermit” is actually a hypnotic album, especially with the opening track “Becoming Meaningless”. The whole entire release is haunting, melancholy and you can sense the pain that Shatraug is demonstrating throughout not only his music but the almost distressed screams and cries he’s pouring into “Blood of the Hermit”.

It may not be the strongest release yet it’s because it holds something new, a different essence so it seems. It captures hopelessness, pain, sorrow and devastation and just seems to throw it all out and enchants you with its dark beauty.

8 minutes 40 seconds into “Becoming Meaningless” there’s an all of a sudden appearance of a guitar solo, despite being extremely simplistic – it’s beautiful and endearing. It’s something that takes away the repetition of gruelling depression and throws in something Black Metal musicians try to avoid it seems, hope.

Another thing that has captured me with MORTUALIA is the album cover, it’s perfectly graceful and peaceful, it shows the closeness we have to animals, yet, how they are far more beautiful. Funnily enough, any other Black Metal musician might have a bit of a scoff at it “Oh, how pretty a picture of a fox drinking water, not as cool as our picture of Satan” – you get the idea. I’ve always pictured Black Metal to be more in touch with nature, well, what’s the other reason for them all hiding in forests and mountains?

Overall, “Blood of the Hermit” becomes increasingly enchanting and the fact that it’s incredibly under-produced, the way Black Metal was intended – makes you more unable to turn it off. It’s hypnotic, dark, it’s practically sitting on a tightrope between Black Metal and Depressive Black Metal and that’s what it should be about.

Rating 7/10

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About Jessica Howkins
Music Journalist, studying at Staffordshire University. Metal enthusiast and probably at the bar.

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