After some really bad albums to review it was a breath of pungently dank air to press play and hear the thunderously bleak waves of CORPUS CHRISTII. You never know what you need or when you need it sometimes, and at the time I first put in "Rising” by this Portuguese outfit, I realized I needed a good wallop of galloping Black Metal; no holds barred, good production and seemingly out to destroy. Oh what those who dislike Metal miss in the malevolent nature that engulfs us Metalheads.
“Rising” doesn’t just race through its 13 tracks, but speed is the backbone of their Black Metal style; residing somewhere in the ranks of older SATYRICON and again older ROTTING CHRIST, oh and throw in a little DARK FUNERAL for good measure. The intro “Intro” (yes that is what I meant) is a sweet choir. Their lulling voices wafting through the air, I’m sure pleasing many a devout follower in their presence who thinks of a benevolent afterlife where such choruses are ever-present. What I would give for them to hear what comes next! Straight away “Stabbed” thrusts you into a Black world of malicious, tremulous guitar shredding and blasting drums. The main man, Nocturnus Horrendus (I know, cheesy) also makes his presence felt quickly with a far lower vocal approach than most Black Metal howlers and that is something I prefer in my BM. He uses his voice as a rapier to cut the listener, demanding attention and therefore making you listen even more closely to the fine music on display.
On tracks like “Black Gleam”, Horrendus reshapes his vocals at times to a more desperate sounding cry, yet not one that screeches in annoyance. All the while he and the band are playing top notch Black Metal: no symphonic bullshit, no weird synth sounds, no theatrical crap, just balls out Black Fuckin’ Metal. Riffs are razor sharp and the drumming clips along at a whizzing pace. CORPUS CHRISTII though certainly have no compunction to slow their tempo down a bit in songs, and again simply rely on their musicianship to convey their dark sound and it works extremely well. Maybe after a few bad albums my expectations were low, but I don’t think so; “Rising” just showcases a band with great chops and fine writing skills who I hope continue to produce quality music in the future.
If you’re a Black Metal fan I dare you to listen to the opening riff on “Void Revelation” and not be blown away. “Heavenless Bliss” is a great example of a song played at a slow measure yet loses none of its dark tone or weight. In fact, it’s one of the best cuts on the album. And a damn fine album it is too.
(Online February 24, 2008)