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BARÚS - review
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SORTILEGIA
SORTILEGIA
Sulphurous Temple
(Ván Records)
40:12min

Ah, the difficult second album! I try to steer clear of the term "sophomore" because that's what music journalists like to throw around and I am not a music journalist, I am a fan of music. Second albums are known to make or break a band. "Clandestine" was good, but nowhere near "Left Hand Path", "Blessed Are The Sick" was just as good, but hey… there is only one "Altars Of Madness". That said, "Sulphurous Temple" sure ain't no "Arcane Death Ritual", but it is fantastic on its own merits and a definite contender for album of the year. If you hate words and don't like to read, you can stop right here. SORTILEGIA is a band that functions primarily on emotion: while other bands have elaborate concepts, this duo bludgeons the listener over the head with sheer primal raw noise so universally understandable that not even the lyrics seem to matter. I am not saying that SORTILEGIA don't have any concept - in fact it's very obvious that they have - but their music works on a gut level. And this is exactly what I miss in most contemporary "occult" or "orthodox" bands: the magick seems to be based on robes and incense and sigils, while the music itself is disgustingly profane. SORTILEGIA, however, seems to operate the other way around: fantastic, almost transcendental music first and esoteric fuss and imagery second. The design of all their releases is just great, and yes, very occult (for lack of a better term), but their music would function just the same on an unlabeled tape, just like back in the day, when demos and rehearsals were passed from fanatical hand to fanatical hand. The occult vibe that goes beyond skull, dagger and chalice on a t-shirt, it's almost tangible. If they were a Hip Hop act, they'd be called "real" and the track 'The Veil' would be called a skit – it's ambient for lack of a better term, but it's not a filler, it is an essential pillar in this cathedral of an album. Metal bros are probably gonna complain, but fuck them. They'll hate the sound on this album because it's not as raw as on the first one, they'll hate the fact the de facto hit single 'Ecstasies Of The Sabbath' (which could very well become SORTILEGIA's very own 'Thy Kingdom Come') from 2015 was re-recorded and that they're not getting their value for money, but who the fuck cares about what someone living in their mom's basement says? Talk is cheap, but this album is a treasure. https://sortilegia.bandcamp.com, www.van-records.de

Thomas Reitmayer

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