Apr 122023

(Andy Synn invites you all to come worship the new album from Out of the Mouth of Graves)

There’s always been something almost inhuman… practically supernatural… about how prolific the members of this band are.

Whether it’s with Acausal Intrusion, Feral Lord, Maggot Crown, Psionic Madness, or Out of the Mouth of Graves themselves (and that’s just a handful of the projects they are, or have been, involved in) it’s hard to comprehend how the trio find sufficient time to keep pushing the boundaries year after year after year.

But Shrines to Dagon finally offers us an explanation – it’s now clear that Vølus, Turner and Moran have made some sort of unholy pact with the ruinous powers beyond this realm. How else could they do what they do?

What they do, of course, is produce some of the murkiest, most malevolent-sounding Death Metal you’re likely to ever hear, all laced with the sort of wickedly warped melody that seems like it’s designed to drive you slowly, but surely, insane.

When I previously wrote about the band I compared their sound to the likes of Gigan and Teitanblood, melding as it does the chaotic complexity of the former with the grim ‘n’ grisly intensity of the latter.

And while those comparisons still ring true – especially during the psychic squall of swirling leads and swarming riffs which makes up songs like the twisted title-track and the barely-coherent nightmare that is “Paralytic Gaze” – there’s a sense that Shrines to Dagon finds the group plumbing even darker, more abyssal depths, one which brings them even more closely in line with the likes of Altarage and, yesAbyssal, than ever before.

At the same time, however, while the sheer, gravity-warping density of tracks such as “The Void Staring Back” and “Injected with Mania” offer some of the darkest, doomiest moments of the group’s career so far, it becomes clear as the album progresses that the band’s Black Metal has also risen towards ascendancy, with the demonic, dream-like melodies and hypnotic, hallucinatory vibes of the likes of “The Depths of Unseen Psychosis” and “Swarmfeeder” sharing much in common with Blut Aus Nord‘s most recent foray into Lovecraftian lore.

There’s no question that this is a difficult, demanding album, one whose constant deviations from the norm and refusal to assume an easily recognisable form will likely ensure that it remains confined to the bleakest, blackest bowels of the Metal underground.

But while it may dwell in the darkest recesses it is, even now, extending its slithering tendrils and reaching out towards the unsuspecting dwellers of the surface, ready and waiting to drag them down into its monstrous embrace.

So heed my warning, once you hear its siren song… it may already be too late.

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