We have a rare double premiere for you today. We have combined them because the songs come from two albums that will be released on the same day (September 25th) by the same label (I, Voidhanger Records), and because the artist behind the two bands is the same man — the Portuguese multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Gonius Rex.
One of these projects is Onirik, and the track we’re presenting today comes from Onirik’s fifth full-length, The Fire Cult Beyond Eternity. The other project is Noite (the Portuguese word for “night”), and the song we now present is the title track from Noite’s debut album A Cor do Fogo (“the color of fire”).
Both songs are fascinating, and together they are even more fascinating because they are so different from each other in their style — though they are kindred spirits in their inspirations.
ONIRIK: “MELODIES OF REFLECTION AND PRAISE”
From the paintings of vulcanism by Jules Tavernier (1844–1889) that accompany the CD version of Onirik’s new album to the artwork of 17th-century Portuguese painter Diogo Pereira that adorns the cover of the LP edition, and the album’s lyrical themes, the imagery of fire and lava plays a significant role in The Fire Cult Beyond Eternity. And flames of retribution burn hot in the music, creating a continuing contrast with Onirik’s last album from five years ago, Casket Dream Veneration.
For this new album, Gonius Rex was joined on drums by Dirge Rep (Gehenna, Enslaved, Orcustus, The Konsortium), and ambient music was contributed by Semjaza of Thy Darkened Shade, and he also mixed and mastered the album at Sitra Ahra Studio.
In the song we’re premiering today, “Melodies of Reflection and Praise“, raw, fiery riffing, turbulent drumming, bubbling bass lines, and savage vocals all play prominent roles. Wild, flaring guitar leads give the music a berserker yet shining quality. Choral voices and soaring, sweeping chords magnify the music’s conjoined feeling of glorification and fearsomeness. But passages of dissonance build tension and terror within the song, and the melody seamlessly becomes more despairing.
Throughout the changing sequences of sound, the magma-like liveliness of the bass remains a constant attraction, and the dynamism (and thunder) of the drumming adds its own strength to the song’s vice-like grip on the senses, while magical rippling arpeggios beguile the mind. What doesn’t change is the viciousness of the vocals, a snarling and almost strangled emanation of bestial hostility and rabid, disgusted fervor.
We’re also including a stream of a previously released song from the same album, “Granted The Vision, Molded Into Stone“. Compared to today’s premiere it’s more stately in its pacing and more majestic in its aura — albeit a majesty that’s frightening to behold. The song’s slithering and writhing leads channel pain and degradation, while the booming drums and musing bass notes create visions of a march to an execution. The song’s dense, searing riffage is a near-panoramic presence, rising in magnificence and falling in a semblance of hopeless agony. Paradoxically, the music is often mesmerizing even though it seems to be a portrait of misery and mortification.
I, Voidhanger will release the album on limited edition 12″ vinyl LPs (100 black, 100 marble red) and on CD. It recommends the album for fans of Ved Buens Ende, early Mayhem, early Darkthrone, and Deathspell Omega.
LP and CD: https://metalodyssey.8merch.com/
NOITE: “A COR DO FOGO”
As foretold above, Noite is a very different channel than Onirik for the creativity of G. Rex (and here he performs all instruments, and sings in Portuguese), though dark, occult themes continue to inspire the music. The music is atypical for metal, inspired in part by by medieval and neo-classical music, and with vocals that wouldn’t be out of place in an album of Portuguese folk music. But the music would be atypical in any genre, because Noite has fashioned its own fascinating path here.
“A Cor do Fogo“, the album’s title track, features unusual rocking beats and guitars tuned to a clear and haunting tone (with prominent use of delay effects), which at times might bring a Sergio Leone soundtrack to mind, as well as devilish psychedelic rock from many decades ago. The vocal harmonies are entrancing, and the burbling bass tones that form such a vital part of Onirik’s music are as unstable as the changing drum patterns.
As the song evolves, the guitar performance becomes more disturbing, with a demented and demonic quality in its feverishly skittering escapades. The guitar picking is so unpredictable, so mercurial, that it creates a sharp contrast to both the relatively greater steadiness of the drumming, and the seductiveness of the vocals
The previously released song “No Inferno e na Terra“, which we’re also including below, uses the same ingredients, blending extravagant guitar psychedelia, bewitching vocal harmonies, and adventurous bass and drum performances to create a kind of sonic sorcery that’s both mesmerizing and sinister. Once again, all these textures work together like incantations in a hellish spell.
I, Voidhanger will release the album on limited 12″ vinyl LPs (100 black, 100 marble orange), and on A5-Digipak CDs.