, , , , ,

Very few bands have attempted to integrate clean guitar sounds into the frame of an aggressive and traditional black metal with as much success as Altar of Perversion did in this The Abyss’ Gate Re-Opens. A.O.P. has been applied the gentleness of the clean guitar sound where other bands would have thought of emphasizing particular notes with the chords of a keyboard. The timber of the two supporting instruments is nonetheless different, and the clean guitar sound cannot be used with the same effect as the keyboard, nor in as many situations as the latter. Despite this fact A.O.P. does manage to give it a careful and sparing application, with highly nuanced and significant results.

The feeling conjured by this explicitly satanic project manages to conjure the impression of evil conspiracy in and around the different human spheres above and below mere normal consciousness. Whether it manages to hold that sentiment is something different, but it is a short recording that may serve to at least provide a cursory incursion into serious black metal beyond the plain musical art. On the downside, the recording does seem to suffer from poor replayability, perhaps a result of its shock-based nature, the thinness of its riff constitution and the piecemeal, often broken, relation between parts.

Those who would place satanic ideology before musical quality should do well to take into account the efficiency and merit that the latter would afford the former were it to be absorbed and enforced. Where Altar of Perversion shows itself, like other serious propositions of black metal, as a convincing vehicle of dark emotions, it fails as a permanent handle towards deeper recesses for listeners looking for further steps within a more complete experience. It must also be remembered that musical quality, properly understood, does not equate technicality, but a unification proper under a kind of adepthood of  the true art of musick.