Sep 152023

Twenty years ago Black Lotus Records released Waltzing Mephisto, the second album by the Italian progressive black metal band Hortus Animae. And on October 31st of this year, just in time for Halloween, Symbol of Domination and BlackHeavens Music will celebrate the anniversary with the release of Waltzing Mephisto 20th Anniversary, a special two-disc record that will please fans of this distinctive band and provide a fascinating introduction for newcomers.

The first CD includes a remastered edition of the Waltzing Mephisto album, along with two new bonus tracks. The second disc is Godless Years Live, which is a previously unreleased recording of a live performance by the band. Collectively, the two CDs include 23 tracks, packaged with new artwork.

Hortus Animae have a storied history of both recordings and performances that has made them a cult favorite among fans of unorthodox music. And the music definitely is unorthodox, intertwining “gothic atmospheres, progressive rock majesty, orchestral grandeur and the primal fury of black/death metal” (to quote the labels’ comments).

The band are also known for recording unusual cover songs, and the new 20th anniversary release includes several of them. One of those is a two-part cover of “You’re Dead” by Norma Tanega, a folk song first released in 1966 that many decades later has used as opening theme song for the What We Do in the Shadows TV series.

That two-part cover is included as the bonus tracks for the remastered edition of Waltzing Mephisto, and what we have for you today is “You’re Dead (Part 1)“.

This song was recorded earlier this year by the current line-up of Hortus Animae, which includes members of Martyr Lucifer and Crawling Chaos.

The vibrant strumming and clapping in the original song has a dancing and devilish energy, fitting for the lyrics. Hortus Animae‘s version, which they’ve presented with a video, is significantly more sinister, scary, and exhilarating.

They’ve substituted bowing for strumming at the start, and beastly growls for singing, and they’ve packed the song with diabolical twists and turns, which include dancing piano keys, bone-rattling drumwork, pulse-pumping bass lines, and writhing and convulsing guitars.

The song will get muscles twitching, hearts pounding, and heads spinning. It will make Mephisto happy.

We’ll also share this thought from the labels:

HORTUS ANIMAE‘s sound is unquestionably for the open-minded and the brave-hearted, yet we can warmly recommend the listening to fans of CRADLE OF FILTH, MY DYING BRIDE, ENSLAVED, DIMMU BORGIR, EMPEROR, NOVEMBRE, ANCIENT, KATATONIA, ANATHEMA and early OPETH.

Symbol of Domination and BlackHeavens Music will release the new album in a Double Jewel Box, 2 CD edition with an 8-page booklet, limited to 300 copies.

We’re also happy to report that the band are currently involved in the song-writing process for their next album — and to share (below) another song from the new release, the opening track on the remastered edition of Waltzing Mephisto.




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