Album Review – Cult of Erinyes / Tiberivs (2017)

Inspired by the Roman Emperor Tiberius, here comes a ruthless Belgian Ritualistic Black Metal horde with their brand new and utterly fantastic concept album.

One of the most talented and prominent bands of the Extreme Metal independent scene in Europe, Belgian Ritualistic Black Metal horde Cult of Erinyes, is back with their unsparing music in the form of a concept album titled Tiberivs, inspired by the Roman Emperor Tiberius, who ruled one of the greatest empires of mankind from 14 AD to 37 AD. It doesn’t matter if you’re a newcomer to the dark world of this Brussels-based band or if you’re already a fan of works such as A Place to Call My Unknown, Blessed Extinction and their latest EP Transcendence, the music found in Tiberivs will leave scathing scars on your skin and poison your blood, leaving you eager for more of the band’s mordant creations.

As commented by the band’s mastermind Corvus, “I always perceived Cult of Erinyes as a portal that allows my mind to connect with different universes. I had, from the very beginning of the creative process, to immerse myself in a definite time period – the Ancient Roman Empire, Tiberius era. Each song, melody, and riff had to refer to a variation of emotions forgotten by time itself. What sounded like a fantastic challenge ended as a nightmare where my subconscious got lost. Desperation, frustration, and madness raised dangerously. This third album is our most progressive effort so far, but also contains radical and intense parts sublimed by Mastema’s urges for ferocity. We both went as far as we could on this album and were lucky to be helped in our task by longtime devoted musicians Algol (bass, additional guitars), Baron (lead guitars, artwork), and Déhà, who handled the drums, some guitars/keys, and the the mix/mastering process. Last but not least, Alex (Kall, Hypothermia, Craft) offered us a five-star bass-line on the intro and Marc DeBacker, my brother in Wolvennest, added some crystal-clear guitar sounds on the end of the album. This album also marked the end of my longtime musical and spiritual journey with Mastema. I can only but respect his decision and salute the energy he shared on Tiberivs. This concept album was his idea, and I’m glad we end our collaboration on this high and digressive note. He will be replaced for future live and recording duties by the most extreme and mentally extreme singer I know, Déhà, who is known for his work with Yhdarl, Maladie, We All Die (Laughing), and shitloads of other good projects. For all those reasons, I will hate and cherish this album. For Centuries To Come.”

In the opening track, titled Archaea, 41 B.C., fires burn amidst some eerie voices and moans, being slowly joined by the band’s atmospheric instrumental and topped off with a narration about how Romans were raised by wolves and that wolves are born to hunt and kill, resulting in a beyond ominous intro to the devastating Nero (Divine Providence), offering the listener the band’s old school Black Metal with their traditional ritualistic twist in the form of a sensational tempest of slashing guitars and blast beats. Moreover, not only Mastema sounds more devilish and brutal than ever, but the song’s frantic sounds are effectively blended with its ambient passages, turning it into a full-bodied blackened experience that’s definitely worth a listen. And in Casvs Belli, which means “an act or situation provoking or justifying war”, we’re treated to an explosion of extreme music with the demonic riffs by Corvus together with Algol and Baron generating a truly belligerent atmosphere, all enhanced by the infernal growls by Mastema and the obscure keys by Corvus.

Bred for War connects instantly and perfectly with the previous song to the point they can even be considered one major composition split in two, with sheer bestiality flowing from the awesome drumming by Déhà. In other words, this is straightforward Black Metal perfect for Corvus and his horde to tell the story proposed in the album; followed by Loner, a song that kicks off like a raging bull, smashing everything through the blast beats by Déhà and the fast and cutting guitars by Corvus, with Algol strengthening the song’s melody with his bass lines. The final result couldn’t sound more amazing, a furious and occult creation by Cult of Erinyes with an excellent job done by Mastema giving life to the song’s dark lyrics. Germanicvs, with its almost 8 minutes of blackened sounds and a demonic aura, keeps up with the foundations of Black Metal, being one of the most obscure and dense of all songs of the album led by the sustained drums by Déhà and spiced up by dark vociferations by Mastema.

An eerie, dark intro ignites another menacing creation by this talented Belgian horde, titled First of Men, a hybrid of Atmospheric and Ritualistic Black Metal with hints of Blackened Doom. Moreover, although it doesn’t show the same fury that emanates from the rest of the album, it’s still essential for the storyline. In Damnatio Memoriae (or “damnation of memory” in English), the music grows in intensity and darkness until after one minute it becomes a feast of Blackened Doom sounds enfolding the demented gnarls by Mastema, remaining rhythmic and dynamic thanks to the excellent job done by Déhà on drums until its thrilling Stygian ending; whereas For Centuries to Come is an 11-minute aria where Corvus showcases all his abilities as a multi-instrumentalist, while Mastema elevates his evil growls and screams to a whole new infernal level. This is by far the most complete and detailed of all songs, with its second half being a work-of-art of extreme music, not to mention its atmospheric elements beautifully complementing the piercing guitar riffs and solos, flowing into a fantastic and climatic conclusion to the album.

In a nutshell, the implacable Cult of Erinyes sounds stronger and more menacing than ever in Tiberivs (which can be enjoyed in its entirety HERE) and, despite being their ultimate album with the demonic Mastema on vocals, I’m sure the band will still provide us a lot of amazing material like this in the future. Furthermore, this brilliant concept album can be purchased at the band’s own BandCamp page, at the Caverna Abismal Records’ BandCamp or webstore, and at the Aural Music Webstore, as well as on iTunes, Amazon and Discogs. The roots to the greatest empire in the history of mankind are deeply connected to the lives of wolves, and there’s nothing better than the austere extreme music by Cult of Erinyes to show you how harsh, ruthless and vicious wolves can be.

Best moments of the album: Nero (Divine Providence), Loner and For Centuries to Come.

Worst moments of the album: First of Men.

Released in 2017 Caverna Abismal Records

Track listing
1. Archaea, 41 B.C. 2:40
2. Nero (Divine Providence) 7:42
3. Casvs Belli 6:24
4. Bred for War 3:52
5. Loner 4:27
6. Germanicvs 7:40
7. First of Men 5:49
8. Damnatio Memoriae 6:04
9. For Centuries to Come 10:59

Band members
Mastema – vocals
Corvus – lead and rhythm guitar, bass, keyboards
Algol – bass, rhythm guitar
Baron – lead guitar
Déhà – drums, additional guitar & keyboards

Guest musicians
Alex – bass on “Archaea, 41 B.C.”
Marc DeBacker – additional guitar on “For Centuries to Come”

Album Review – Cult of Erinyes / Transcendence EP (2016)

High-quality Ritualistic Black Metal blasted by an up-and-coming cult of infernal goddesses that will definitely devastate your mind.

Rating5

CultOfErinyes-EPIn Greek mythology, the Erinyes (also known as Furies) were female chthonic deities of vengeance, sometimes referred to as “infernal goddesses”. Having said that, try to imagine what would happen if a cult dedicated to those hellish deities of the underworld decided to converge all their strength and energy into extreme music. The result would be the Ritualistic Black Metal bred by the skillful Belgian act Cult of Erinyes, who are just about to release a 19-minute opus in cassette format (limited to 100 copies) entitled Transcendence.

Hailing from the always pleasant city of Brussels, Belgium, Cult of Erinyes have always been crafting music in seek of the trinity, the purest form of the universe, which ends up providing a particular atmosphere of their sonority that explains the label of “Ritualistic Black Metal”. The band has already released an EP and two full-length albums since their inception in 2009, but in case you have never heard of them before I should say their new EP Transcendence is a highly-recommended option to join their cult. Featuring a distinguished artwork by Business for Satan, from the city of Strasbourg, France, this obscure EP doesn’t need more than its duration to devastate your mind and make you addicted to their eldritch metal music.

Cult of Erinyes come blasting their evil music from the very first second in Degree of Solitude, a solid fusion of raw Black Metal with a heavy and demonic ambience, with its second half becoming a bestial onslaught of Extreme Metal where lead singer Mastema growls like an ancient demon. In the title-track, Transcendence, the band’s mastermind and warlock Corvus fires his evil riffs and thunderous bass lines, while Mastema continues his vocal tribute to evil. This song showcases lots of elements from Doom Metal, Blackened Doom, Atmospheric Black Metal and Blackened Death Metal, resulting in a demonic composition that will definitely drag you down to the pits of hell.

CultofErinyes_official1And as a sophisticated bonus to admirers of Extreme Metal all over the world, this talented Belgian band offers us their kick-ass cover version for the classic chant Pagan Fears, originally recorded by Mayhem, known as the trailblazers of Norwegian Black Metal and one of the most controversial bands of all time (if not the most controversial one). This is undoubtedly an amazing tribute with the necessary amounts of darkness, despair and violence requested, and in case you want to compare it to the original song you can do that by simply clicking HERE.

To sum up, although Transcendence has only three songs, the quality of the music found in its 19 minutes of brutality and occultism is indeed beyond average, making us all eager for what this cult of infernal goddesses can offer us next. In order to know more about Cult of Erinyes and their high-end Black Metal, go check their Facebook page. And if you truly want to support the underground of extreme music, go purchase Transcendence at the Caverna Abismal Records’ BandCamp page (remember it’s limited to 100 copies only), and relish it while we all wait for another demonic rite by these talented Belgian metallers.

Best moments of the album: Degree of Solitude.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2016 Caverna Abismal Records

Track listing
1. Degree of Solitude 5:46
2. Transcendence 6:40
3. Pagan Fears (Mayhem cover) 6:32

Band members
Mastema – vocals
Corvus – guitar, bass, keyboards
Baal – drums*

*Former member