Monday, January 15, 2018

Lycanthropy's Spell - "Misanthropic Visions" [2005]

Artist: Lycanthropy's Spell
Title: Misanthropic Visions
Genre: Depressive Black Metal
Country: Belgium
Release date: 2005

Track List:
  1. Misanthropic Visions
  2. Cemetery Lights
  3. Fullmoon Depression
  4. Emptiness of Lonelyness
  5. Nocturnal Forest in the Moonlight
  6. On the Wings of Sadness
  7. Hi Yiste
  8. Спокойная Ночь (Kino cover)
"Chechen black metal" was as much of the recurring joke in the Russian metal scene of the mid-2000s as "Eastern Orthodox black metal", but nevertheless both things actually exist. Lycanthropy's Spell, based out of Belgium and active during 2003-2005, consisted of two members: Sarmak, a Chechen refugee, and Inferis, originally from Britain and active in many different underground black metal projects all over Western Europe. The band name was taken from the song "Embraced by Lycanthropy's Spell" by Moonblood (their main source of influence).

While at a first glance this band seems to be the embodiment of all second wave black metal stereotypes, they do have their own distinctive kind of sound (as well as the great atmosphere). Where else would you hear a blackened noise ballad with lyrics in Chechen?

Sarmak died from heart failure at the age of 20 the same year this album was released, leaving behind one solo release which is probably the one and only example of Chechen pagan black metal. Disregarding the poor quality of production (what else could you expect from an one-man underground black metal project 15 years ago?), knowing that it was made someone coming from a culture that still practices many brutal traditions such as blood feuds or honour killings makes it much more impressive than a lot of overproduced pagan metal releases from, i.e., Scandinavian countries:

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