Fides Inversa - Historia Nocturna review


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Band: Fides Inversa
Album: Historia Nocturna
Release date: July 2020

01. Intro
02. A Wanderer's Call And Orison
03. Transcendental Lawlessness
04. The Visit
05. I Glance You with A Touch, I Touch You with A Gaze
06. Syzygy
07. I Am The Iconoclasm

I kept seeing their new Bardo Mythology interview as a sponsored ad on Facebook, so I remembered that the Italians have a black metal scene as well.

There are a lot of local black metal scenes, each with its own sound. As far as my experience with Italian black metal goes, it's either some early first/second wave like Bulldozer and Mortuary Drape or something more symphonic and gothic like Graveworm, Forgotten Tomb, Stormlord or Theatres Des Vampires, and of course some outliers like Ephel Duath and Progenie Terrestre Pura. Obviously, Italy has its fair share of black metal to brag about. But Fides Inversa doesn't really fit into any of these. Out of all these bands that have multiple additional genre tags, Fides Inversa is pretty much the only one that is just "black metal". So much so that I was under the impression that they were actually a Polish band before checking.

Fides Inversa aren't really a new band, having almost 15 years under their belt, but Historia Nocturna is only their third full length record. For a band to take their sweet time with their release schedule must mean that a lot of thought goes into each release. After their first two being recorded as duos, their 2017 EP, Rite Of Inverse Incarnation saw them expanding more into a four-piece, with Wraath (of Celestial Bloodshed / Behexen) on vocals and Unhold (of Cryogenic / Absurd) on bass, though the duo were still the only official members. That EP was stepping stone that brought us here, to Historia Nocturna, which finds Wraath moving to the position of official member, and thus also making the album a lot more of a collaborative effort than before. But that's not the only change.

The band also wanted to have a more "organic" live sound, hence why most of the orchestral or ambiental stuff from the previous records is replaced by pretty much the thing that this is all about: black metal. Reading through the interview I referred to, the band does give convincing arguments for still sticking to the "Horned one" themes, in that devilish creatures are "archetypes deeply rooted in the human psyche since countless ages - through folklore, rural sorcery, religion, ceremonial magic, and occult traditions". Though it can be described as "orthodox" or "traditional" black metal, it's almost expected that it would be something else within it, given black metal's versatility, but Historia Nocturna is here to remind us what all those unorthodox or unconventional or forward-thinking black metal releases of the past decades still had in common: black metal; and why it is that it is this black metal that even in its pure form and from its lineage from the early Norway scene still clearly traceable, still manages to excite.

The Mayhem meets Deathspell Omega sound, complete with multiple riffs and changes of pace, a great sense of dissonant atmosphere over furious and relentless metal. The organic sound does make this feel a lot more potent in the anger it transmits, with the ambiance being more fully incorporated or interwoven in the sound instead of separated from it (past the intro track at least). The relentless and more organic sound would lead one to believe we would be getting shorter and more concise tracks, but instead most tracks sit in the 7-9 minutes zone, and though none of them could really be called complex, none of them are stretched will filler either. Instead, they perfectly showcase the fury, bombast and evilness that lives within the dissonance, the growls and the riffs.

Though it's nothing that wasn't done before, this is the case for pretty much the vast majority of new releases out there. But few releases can really excel this much at just what made the genre great in the first place.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 6
Production: 7


Written on 27.07.2020 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.

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