Kouvola, Finland’s Aegrus require little introduction. Formed upon the skulls of slain Christians in 2005, they began to realize the dark fruits of their black craft through ritual at Lucifer’s altar; producing an immersive discography consisting of a number of demos, EP’s, comps and three LPs that have led stridently to the dawn of what will surely be their greatest blasphemy. On the cusp of Hallows Eve and in the name of the fallen one, Aegrus release their long-awaited fourth full-length volume, Invoking the Abysmal Night.
The Finnish product, when done the true Suomi way and without too many other influences to dilute it, is simply untouchable: striking and melodic but overwhelmingly dark and dangerous; fuel for hatred to propel you through torchlit corridors of BM past and present. With Invoking The Abysmal Night, Aegrus channel the melodicism of the renowned Sargeist as they harness the power of Azaghal and unleash them with a level of concentrated evil matched only by records like Horna’s latest scourge Kuolemon Kirjo or Satanic Warmaster’s most recent crime, Aamongandr.
In honorable company Aegrus find themselves, but it’s simply business as usual for them. Some cuts on the record, like the titular track and its successor “Followers of the False Prophets” deliver racing compositions set to blast-ridden cadences. And the energy? Palpably volatile yet equal in brilliance to other more epic cuts: “Nocturnal Rites of Faust” and “Where the Forest Emanates Death.” These compositional specimens unfold with the same scorched earth intensity, but also stir the soul with bluesy/jazzy guitar parts (former) and dreamlike yet miserable atmospheric elements comparable to the output of Poland’s Mgła (latter).
Don’t expect raw production or any kind of throwback to early ’90s BM legend; only the most comprehensive and pro-grade black metal to be found here. And as you sit back and take it all in, it’s the light of Lucifer and the warmth of Satan that guide you through each second of this highly-anticipated experience. An impossible-to-reach bar set by their previous album, In Manus Satanas, but somehow surpassed here. No disappointments and not a second of wasted recording space.
The cover art itself promises glory and kept is that promise. Aegrus are continuing what’s been a dominant year for Finnish BM and do their respective scene as much pride as can be expected considering such lethal competition. Invoking The Abysmal Night was an album four years in the making and another gem buried just below the surface of the mainstream where integrity and artfulness still stand paramount. But deadly to the max and diabolical to the core as the scales are balanced with equal parts Luciferian illumination and utter Satanic darkness.
So, prepare to imbibe the finest of what the ever-fertile Finnish scene has to offer. Revel now in the delightful anticipation of yet another masterpiece. Now, as summer twilight promises death to come and as the leaves begin to fall upon the surface of this hell we call earth, The Eleven have been awakened to the smell of ritual sacrifice and the sound of Invoking The Abysmal Night – evil’s latest installment in the great Unholy War. A near perfect black metal album from start to finish and a work to be remembered by.
(released October 27, 2023 on Osmose Productions)
Heavy Music HQ Rating:
Listen To Aegrus – “Invoking The Abysmal Night”