LvxCaelis – Maher Shalal Hash Baz (2019)

LvxCaelis
Release date: October 31st, 2019
Label: Lamech Records

The name of LvxCaelis should not be unknown at this point to anyone who has been paying attention to the chilean scene for the last decade. Maher Shalal Hash Baz is their third album, and it comes four years after their magnificent previous record The Watchers. I’ve been listening to this Black Metal piece regularly for the past month since I received my copy of the CD, and I must say that my expectations were vastly exceeded by the quality of the songs.

The sound of the recording is very similar to what can be heard in the previous album, with the main difference being the overall atmosphere of the songs. While The Watchers had a more ominous and ritualistic feeling, Maher Shalal Hash Baz is more intense, more direct, maybe more “Metal” should I say. The drumming is frantic and relentless, but also has a lot of variety, the razor sharp guitars blend aggressive riffs with dark melodies, the bass rumbles in the background adding that extra layer of thickness and heavyness to the songs, and the ominous solemnity of the vocals fit perfectly with the music.

Every song has something interesting to offer, from the catchiness of Beyond the Falling Stars, to the insane intensity of Fading into Golgotha, to the hypnotic opening riff in Throne of Doom (plus the overall slower but powerful pace of the song), or the masterful rithm changes in The Beginning was the End, or that awesome and classic cold riff after the first verses in Kiss the Skull.

Raising above the Demiurge caught me completely by surprise with the almost Heavy Metal-esque guitar leads in the final part of the song, and the tasteful mixture of rawness and melancholy in Awakening the Final Chaos gives the album a perfect closure (those bass lines are pure brilliance).

The lyrics, as usual, deal with topics regarding luciferian gnosis and the neverending quest for illumination to free one self from the boundaries and limitations of the earthly existence.

The album was recorded at Lamech Studios in Sweden by Deacon D (Hetroertzen) who also contributes with some vocals in the last song, Awakening the Final Chaos, plus the intro, outro and some interludes. The artwork was done by Åskväder (also from Hetroertzen). As you would expect from Lamech Records, the overall production and design of the album are top notch.

To sum things up, Maher Shalal Hash Baz is a more than worthy successor of The Watchers. It might be even better, but I’m still undecided about that, need to listen to it more. There’s a lot to be discovered in the 37 minutes of music contained here, but I highly recommend this to anyone who’s looking for quality music.

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