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Liber Null: I, The Serpent

Even though Liber Null is a new band, the musicians come from well-known bands like Acherontas, Fides Inversa, Blut Aus Nord, and Frostmoon Eclipse. I get tired of the label "supergroup," mostly because it takes what could be a good project and turns it into either an ego fest or a marketing point. And then there's the problem that comes when supergroups aren't all that great and nobody quite knows how to say what they really think. I'm inclined to think that extreme metal musicians mostly benefit from playing with others, if only to discover new ways of developing the music they all love.

Some readers might recognize this band's name as coming from a book commonly associated with the principles of chaos magic, a relatively new theory of magic that brings together multiple traditions and ideas in ways that help practitioners make sense of the modern world. In the band's press materials, we learn that Liber Null "embodies the dogma-shattering will to oppose the denigration of the earthly dimension of existence—which pawns of the religious doctrine, past and present, wish to erase from human consciousness, in a quest to annihilate the Self." Sounds interesting, but I also think this is a long-winded way of saying that this is a black metal album, that the music here challenges convention, and that listeners should be prepared. The music here, like so many black metal albums, wants to make sense of a world filled with chaos and confusion without turning to traditional answers and approaches.

The music on this release is aggressive and heavy but is pretty straightforward black metal. I know that some other reviewers found the album somewhat disappointing because it didn't take enough risks with the overall sound and style. That didn't bother me as much length of the songs here. There's nothing wrong with longer tracks, but these sometimes go on too long or they try to accomplish too much, something that made me wonder whether shorter songs would have suited this band's style a little better. This is especially true given that the music here draws on consistent sounds and themes and tends to run together a little bit. I'd suggest checking out the title track and maybe "Unholy Cosmogony" for a sense of what these guys are doing.

Track Listing:
1. The Unrepenting Son
2. Below and Beyond
3. I, The Serpent
4. Dereliction
5. Unholy Cosmogony
6. The Heretic's Tongue

Added: December 9th 2016
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1517
Language: english

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