With Prognatus in Vorago, Minnesota-based black metallers Atrum Inritus have sufficiently demonstrated that they are one of the best new bands on the scene today. Though this is only the their debut effort, the bleak nature of the music effectively captures the raw aggression and dark imagery that every good black metal release requires - and then some. Prognatus in Vorago is an exceptionally dark, brooding, and melancholic work of art, and although the black metal never stops being as brutal as hell itself, the oddly melodic riffs give the album a sense of memorability that is lacking from most of today's 'kvlt' bands. Although Atrum Inritus seldom deviates from the tried and true black metal sound, they deliver the sound so well that it's difficult to complain.
Had it not been for my prior knowledge that Atrum Inritus are indeed an American band, I would've immediately assumed they were from the icy Nordic forests. The likes of Mayhem and Burzum clearly serve as major influences to this quintet, and the band's cacophonous black metal style often comes across as desperate, helpless, and downright depressing. Part of this is due to the (relatively) mid-paced tempos and hypnotic guitar riffs, but a large portion is also due to the brooding nature of the compositions. Prognatus in Vorago manages to be both ominous and unforgiving, and for my money, I wouldn't have my black metal any other way.
The production, Satanic album art, and Latin song titles do remind the listener that this doesn't offer many 'new' ideas to black metal as a whole, but I'm not one to complain when it's this well-executed. Prognatus in Vorago is a truly excellent album and one of the best debuts of 2011; if you like black metal on the more traditional end of the spectrum, Atrum Inritus is well worth your attention. Although I hope that the band takes a few more risks with their sophomore album, I have very few complaints with Prognatus in Vorago.
1. Tenebris Descendit
2. The Chains That Bind
3. Aegrus Everto
5. Sacramentum Exeuntium
6. Ladder of Divine Descent