Where can you turn when you need black metal that’s as nasty as the weather outside in winter? Who can you listen to when you want something as virulent and oppressive as the emotional storm inside of your mind? If you’re me, then you turn to Ifernach, a solo project from the northern reaches of Quebec. Only a few months ago he put on a new album, well EP, and lucky for me it’s more of the same chaotic, ambient hellish sound that I have come to expect from Ifernach. Murder Chaos Crematoria is not going to be an album for everyone, it’s full of nasty, thrashy rural black metal in the vein of Mort aux Gueux. It’s harsher than regular black metal, having been born outside the reaches of normal society. Ifernach was born to give the chaos of the past a voice and what a voice it gives!
Thrash rarely works with black metal. I know that a lot of bands try to incorporate thrashy sounds into their music but only a handful, literally, have been able to pull it off. I don’t mean to be critical of those that don’t do it well but I know it can come off as such. Ifernach is one of those few bands with tons of thrash influence that manages to blend the two well. It’s hard to tell where the black metal begins and where the thrash begins but it’s all a ball of chaos anyways right? I suppose the thrash elements work here so well because thrash is angry. Thrash is all about giving your frustrations, rage, and anger a voice and set it to a little music. Ifernach, the voice of the past, has a lot to be pissed off about. Even though the music is predominately black metal, perhaps thrash is needed here to add earnest to the music, or perhaps the emotions drove the music and thrash was the best, or only, way to fully express that range. Either way, Ifernach does it perfectly. If nothing else Murder Chaos Crematoria ought to be recognized as the best blend of the two genres I’ve ever heard.
Murder Chaos Crematoria is short, it feels as though it’s over as soon as it starts but within the ten minutes that it plays I can hear a host of influences and deeper meanings that take longer to unravel than the album itself. One might ask if such an analysis is worth it when reading the analysis could take longer than the album itself, I’ve asked myself that very same question before. I came up with this answer: the length of the album or the analysis is not important, what is important is that the analysis does justice to the album and something can be found in the album itself. So what is the narrative here? With so much thrash influence it’s hard to tell where the album is trying to go or where it’s coming from (thrash has been notoriously hard to interpret) but it’s not entirely impossible.
It’s an interesting idea, having the title track of the album merely be an instrument, ambient opener but it works for Ifernach, just like so many things work for Ifernach that wouldn’t work for anyone else. It’s cold and harsh full of wrath without expressing that wrath. In a way, the opening track is the easiest to interpret because of my work with dark ambient and decoding that sort of music. You can feel the spirit of the music building, you can see the birth of the angry, violent nature that has so brilliantly embedded itself into Ifernach’s music. The more I think about it, the more I think the album doesn’t necessarily have a narrative as much as it has a theme. “Don’t tell me what to do, leave me alone, fuck off” seems to cover it quite nicely. It’s not a new attitude, in fact one could say that it’s almost a required attitude for metal in general. What makes that so important that I would take about it in the review? Look at the environment around metal these days. With politics invading every single fucking thing lately, it’s time metal stood up and kicked dirt in someone’s face. Ifernach did that. I love the last song on the album “ATA” for that reason. It’s a message to the Antifa saying to go back to the basement before they get in too deep.
Yes, the album is short. Too short. I felt like the album could have lasted another twenty minutes and it would not have worn out its welcome. Yet, despite the brevity of the music, it packs a punch. If you are already a fan of Ifernach then this is more of what we have come to expect from the thrashy rural black metal outfit, if you are new to Ifernach, then you are in for quite a ride, Murder Chaos Crematoria is an excellent place to start.
Highlights: ATA, Urban Koncentration
If you enjoyed this try: Mort aux Gueux, Ninhursag, Azaghal
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- Murder Chaos Crematoria
- Pig Slaughterer
- Urban Koncentration