April 28, 2017

Mütiilation - Vampires Of Black Imperial Blood (1995)

Mütiilation is one of the chief groups of Les Legions Noires along with Vlad Tepes, Torgeist, and Belketre. Les Legions Noires is essentially the lesser-skilled French equivalent to Scandinavian black metal's 'inner circle' and is one of the first stops somebody should make if they enjoy the rawer side of black metal. The collective's musicianship can't hold a candle to that of Norwegian groups like Darkthrone and Mayhem, but the jagged homemade recordings will be welcome to anybody who loves the Unholy Trilogy or the Mayhem demos/live recordings. Vampires Of Black Imperial Blood is the easiest to stomach of the albums I've heard from this French alliance. The soundstage is well filled-up and the mixing is such that the album is neither harsh and shrill nor overly bass-heavy and murky. I am comparing this to other (usually unlistenable) albums from Les Legions Noires, so still be prepared for some extreme-sounding stuff if you're unfamiliar with the scene. The compositions and technical skill are by far the most advanced you'll hear from Les Legions Noires, making this an optimal starting point for the kvlt catalog. If the ghastly cover art isn't enough of a warning, please be ready for icy cuts of hatred that could have only been made in some blood-smeared cave deep in the Alps. Vampires Of Black Imperial Blood really hits home for me with its harsh and hypnotic darkness and it's one of my absolute favorite metal albums.