ARS MACABRA /
COSMIC EKPYROSIS
Nil Sine Deo (Split 2011) By xDemoNx

Two bands of the underground scene of Italy and Greece join forces and they present three compositions each in a split release. The Italian Ars Macabra was formed in 1998 and they have released three demos, two full length and the present split. On the contrary the Greek Cosmic Ekpyrosis is a very new band, they were formed in 2011 and they have released a demo and the split. Concerning the music the two bands are not so close but also not so far. Their music is raw, harsh, fast, in the European Black Metal style. Their differences lie in the way they compose and in their influences which appear in the music of the two bands. Specifically Ars Macabra compose more complicated riffs, with changes in the evolution of the tracks and the influences from the Scandinavian school are a lot, whereas in some parts, especially with the use of disharmonic melodies, they brought to my mind the French sound. On the other hand Cosmic Ekpyrosis present simpler, more straightforward compositions, with fewer changes during the tracks and with the influences from the Greek scene make their appearance here and there and especially in the final track, “The Devilish Angel”.

The riffs of Ars Macabra, although they haven’t anything different, are quite interesting and they have done a good job concerning the compositions. The guitars try to perform the riffs accurately but they don’t achieve to do it in some parts and that ruins the experience of the listener a little. The bass is quite good but in many parts it is covered by the guitars. The drums do their job without having anything mentionable. The vocals are harsh and dry Black Metal vocals that in some parts they become heavier and deeper vocals, quite good and expressive. The production is dirty and harsh but without giving much depth to the compositions. The guitars are higher than the rest of the instruments and in some parts they cover the bass. Their lyrics deal with astral – cosmic magic and with Luciferianism, they are quite well – written and they match the music.

In the other half of the album Cosmic Ekpyrosis composes more monolithic tracks which have fewer changes, fast riffs and generally interesting tracks. The guitars are played well as also the drums. Unfortunately the bass can’t be heard clearly. The vocals are heavy Black Metal vocals which reminded me of the Greek Black Metal scene but without coping it. The production is dirty, bassy, gives depth and dirt which fits the tracks’ style. The mix is very good as the sound that it has created is very massive. The only thing that the band didn’t care much is the bass that it should be higher and clearer. Their lyrics deal with the ancient cosmic philosophy and with the annihilation of mankind through a more misanthropic view.

Generally both bands, regardless of the mistakes that may have occurred, show that they have tried much and they have done a good album. “Nil Sine Deo” may not add new elements to Black Metal but it is a quite good release and I would suggest to give it a chance.

1. Manifestation of the Curse 05:38
2. L.U.X. 05:41
3. Breed of Cain 05:35
4. Intro 01:33
5. Cosmic Ekpyrosis 05:56
6. Eliminate the Traces of Reality 06:17
7. The Devilish Angel 05:28