MEPHORASH – 1557: Rites of Nullification
To be honest with you, I am not familiar with the two preceeding albums, "Death Awakens" (2011) and "Chalice of Thagirion" (2012), but this third ritualistic and morbid opus by Swedish Mephorash is a deeply unsettling affair cloaked in a dazzlingly dark veil. "1557: Rites of Nullification" contains four long hymns that ooze death and decay.
Not unlike Deathspell Omega, Ofermod, Ondskapt, Hell Militia, and countless other orthodox black metal bands out there, the music spawned by Mephorash has a dissonant and disturbing edge to it, but many of the riffs contained within are razor sharp while the melodies and atmospheric layers are crushing and bleak. The drums sound incredibly bombastic, which emphasizes and enhances the dark and sickening atmosphere of the album. Utilizing more than one vocalist also adds a bit of variety to the disc.
Musically and lyrically, everything seems well-arranged and connected somehow, so there is an overriding theme to the whole thing that remains intact from start to finish.
While "1557: Rites of Nullification" is neither monumental nor brilliant, it is one of the better black metal releases from Sweden that I have had the misfortune of listening to in recent years. Sinister and malevolent, yet strangely compelling and fascinating stuff.