Sep 132021


On two nights, one in November 2015 and one in October 2016, the Serbian (but UK-based) experimental black metal project MRTVI made two improvisational groups of recordings — 11 songs on the first night and 14 more on the second. The work was completed in between MRTVI’s release of its second album (Negative Atonal Dissonance) and its third (Omniscient Hallucinatory Delusion). Rather than release the improvisational works then, MRTVI held them back in order to complete the trilogy of albums that had then been planned.

But now they will be released on October 1st of this year as the two parts of an album entitled Autology: The Shadow Work. Two of the combined 25 tracks have been disclosed so far, and today we present a third one, “II Rhythm of Emotion“.



It has already become evident that each MRTVI record will be at least somewhat different from the others, which is the conscious aim of MRTVI’s sole creator Damjan Stefanovic. As he has told us, this newest release “has more of an early Gorguts influence, with an overall almost grindcore sound/approach to the songs”. In its concept, he explains:

“The album title refers to the Jungian idea of individuation, finding and creating one’s true personality by integrating the shadow or subconscious; that is to say, the study of the self…. The only written lyrics appear at the very beginning of the album and reference the conception of a human being by two incompatible individuals…. The titles of the songs themselves refer to the spiritual and physical creation of life, the symbiosis of two individuals creating a person as well as the process that one must go through in order to create for themselves a soul”.

Rhythm of Emotion” is a proverbial short sharp shock. After a brief musing moment, the bass rumbles, the drums hammer and clatter, the abraded riffing wails, roils, and writhes. The twisted vocals howl, bark, and mutter. But nothing follows a straight path. The bass becomes a nimble cavorting presence, the riffing transforms into a swarming mass of freakish discordance, and the vocals roar, scream, and echo away….

It’s a fascinating mini-adventure, best experienced in context of the album flow as a whole, but certainly an intriguing teaser for the record by itself.



As mentioned, Autology: The Shadow Work is the result of improvisation. In this method, “the drums were recorded first, followed by guitars, bass, and then vocals, one full take of each, without listening to the previous layers. EFX were added spontaneously after the tracking, being manually manipulated and recorded to add another level of organic, instinctive noise”.

The album was mastered by Edward ‘The Warlock’ Amos at Warlock Studios in London. The cover photo was made by Ana Jovanovic.

The album will be released on October 1st through Damjan Stefanovic‘s label Life as a Dream Records, and it’s available for pre-order now. Below we’re also including streams of the two songs released prior to today’s premiere.

P.S. MRTVI has already completed the next album, and work has begun on the one to follow it.



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