Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sigillum Diabolicum - "Chroniques de l'infamie" (2010) [Thor's Hammer Productions]

I originally came across this by browsing around and finally coming to this awesome album art. I am a huge fan of the whole woodcut/etching styles and found the art to be quite appealing. That, and they're French. French black metal has a good track record with me.
So, I did what any normal person with a semi-decent salary and bizarre interests does... I made an impulse buy. I judged this one by its cover.

After receiving this album in the mail today, I am absolutely floored by how incredible it is. And boy, did it take me for a spin.

The intro to the album is an actually humorous and twisted circus-like soundscape of machine guns going off while goofy music is playing in the background. Quite a surprising start. One would think the rest of this album would be as 'laidback'.
Second track? MINDBLOWING. I wasn't even done with the song before I decided that I wanted to listen to it again. With throat-ripping vocals pouring themselves out into an ominous echo, melodic and perfectly-layered guitar passages, and drumming that keeps the rhythm 'hooky', I was pleasantly surprised with every turn.

Oh, there's bass, too. Imagine that.

The consistently glorious nature of this album continued throughout the entire freaking disc. With original musicianship, blisteringly fast technicality, melodious and memorable riffing, and very scarcely a dull moment, this entire album is nothing short of inspiring. 
This is the epitome of what I look for in an album... underground, overlooked gems with a wonderful visual and audial presentation. I may have no idea what the lyrics are, in all humility, but the nihilistic, yet melodious nature of these recordings speak well enough to me in a language I can understand. That and the medieval-modern crossover artwork bring out the visual leniency that brought me to this album in the first place.

Not even my biased review can do it justice. Just order it. 

...Not on eBay, though... as indicated on the back cover with an x'ed out eBay logo next to their label information. 


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