The bastard child of Meyna’ch (ex-MÜTIILATION) and Six/ZK6 (ex-ARKHON INFAUSTUS), SEKTEMTUM is a relatively new French project and, based on their line-up, not recommended listening for those who appreciate the more cultured side of the musical spectrum. In fact, if you’ve seen the infamous music video of the title track (and how it caused the LLN fanboys to get their panties in a bunch), then you’d know that this is not music borne of a healthy mind.
Despite the members’ past musical endeavours, this does not sound like a mid-90s bathroom recording. The material on “Aut Caesar, Aut Nihil” is definitely Black Metal, but you almost get the feeling that this happened perchance – that this is ended up being accidentally Black Metal. There are hefty doses of Groove, Crust, Punk and even a pinch of post-rock thrown in here, but the abrasive thrust of the songs cause all these elements to play second fiddle to the gritty riffing and tortured vocals of Meyna’ch.
The majority of the songs on here rock out in fine mid-paced style, with the title track being a great example of the band’s ability to take a set of rather straightforward riffs, tweaking them only ever so slightly, and churning out something catchy, aggressive and engaging. This slow-brewing tactic is also used to great effect on “Low Spread”, where solid grooves and subtle melodic embellishments join the fray to create one of the highlights on here. The aforementioned Crust influence comes through thick and strong in “Phoenix 999 Et Des Poussières”, bringing to mind the Hardcore-tinged Black Metal of fellow countrymen CELESTE.
Overall a decent album, yet, as the law of diminished return would have it, this project is inferior to both MÜTIILATION and ARKHON INFAUSTUS (both bands are now sadly defunct). It is definitely a step out of the members’ comfort zones, however, and that is something I appreciate. Another LLN or VORKREIST-like clone wouldn’t have cut mustard. “Aut Caesar Aut Nihil” is far from a perfect record, but that “fuck you!” ethic of old school Black Metal courses through its veins and the rock-out vibe is ever-present. Horns up, I guess...
(Online March 30, 2012)