Polish metallers Iubaris combine classical influences with black metal to produce an anti-religious and mystical sound that is at once both fiercely intense and darkly atmospheric. The unholy onslaught commences with 'Antigod', a diabolic piece laden with blast beat riffs, arpeggiated acrimony, and Antares's venomous vocals. This is a remarkable introduction that makes a clear declaration of the band's prowess and intention. The black metal gallop that opens 'Rising Flame' is as savage as it is focussed. The track takes the boundaries established in 'Antigod' and stretches them further, the melodic might fleshed out with a clean melodic mid-section that segues back into the blackened blitzkrieg. 'The Journey' is an incredible piece, slow, lingering and atmospheric, the guitars of Anatares and Erthun tearing at each other in the barren landscape. The down-tempo menace of 'Rebirth' is, again, an overwhelmingly atmospheric piece featuring some magnificently cold, melodic bass work from Vulpus, his behemoth lines underpinning the gravitas, and Kabuka's dynamic drumming is at once nuanced and powerful. Where the EP began with black metal barrage, it closes with the title track, 'Ars Sathanae', an ambient piece that is haunting and chilling, the solitary keyboard sound reverberating in a cold, empty hollow.
As debut EPs go, Ars Sathanae is a well-balanced and magnificent collection presenting a band that is as diverse as it is adept in black metal intensity, in scorched landscapes, and in ambient atmospheres. The songs are well-structured, the instrumentation is top-notch, and the execution is outstanding. If Iubaris can successfully translate what they have done in five tracks into an album, then it looks set to be a stunning piece of work. Highly recommended.
- Rising Flame
- The Journey
- Ars Sathanae