Absentia Lunae - Historia Nobis Assentietvr
Progressive Black Metal
7 songs (46:23)
Release year: 2009
Absentia Lunae , ATMF
Reviewed by Goat

Italy is fast becoming the birthplace of a new wave of Black Metal, and the second album from Absentia Lunae is proof positive that the outside world can’t ignore it for much longer. With members including the rather fantastic female guitarist Climaxia of Melencolia Estatica, this is an interesting piece of Black Metal that freely moves beyond the genre boundaries whilst keeping within them spiritually and philosophically. Speaking of the latter, I was at first rather unsure about tackling this album, as the title directly translates to ‘history will prove us right’ and a song mentions the ‘hyperborean sun’, a common reference in Nazi Occultism. Still, giving the band the benefit of the doubt, the usage of such terms doesn’t automatically mean that the users are of the far-right (heck, German Proggies Tangerine Dream have an album that references the h-word) and whilst label ATMF have been in controversy over their artists’ political connections before, they have always distanced themselves from the dreaded National Socialists.

Now that such silliness is out of the way, it’s worth concentrating on Historia Nobis Assentietvr itself, as the music contained, a mildly experimental and varied form of Black Metal, is worth considering. The album opens with lengthy ambient piece Neuropa Calling, six minutes in length, mixing in everything from radio static to epic choirs, sounding rather like a patriotic wartime broadcast, before Condemnation Of Rationalisation blasts forth, twisty-turny riffs and manic Italian-language vocals riding atop some wonderfully complex backing drumming from Jan B. It’s the lengthily-titled There Are Chilling Signs Of An Eternal Farewell (Along The Ever-Awakening Trailed Path) that really makes you sit up and take notice, the Black Metal of the previous track getting even more withdrawn and crotchety before some rather wonderful clean vocals appear, placed perfectly.

What makes listening to this album truly great and proves that some serious thought has gone in, is that it’s genuinely hypnotic. Not hypnotic in a ‘this is so boring that I’ll sit and start thinking about something else for a few minutes’ way, but hypnotic as in, you’re gripped by the music and barely notice as each new song begins. The moments of genuine beauty in songs like The Timeless Call – Cruelly Does It Resound! are Progressive is an honest, reworked-genre kind of way, very subtle electronics working their magic without moving away from Black Metal tradition. Touching on martial Neofolk at times, the music simply breathes grandeur without actually audibly being so, and this album has enough to offer both purist Black Metallers and the more experimental folk out there.

It’s a shame that Italian Black Metal is so ignored by the larger scene, as there’s much greatness to be found buried deep. Of course, whether the members of this band will appreciate being excavated and held up to the light in this manner remains to be seen, but Historia Nobis Assentietvr packs enough of an experimental punch to make recommending it not so much a choice but an obligation.

Killing Songs :
There Are Chilling Sounds... , The Scream And Its Enlightening Echo, The Timeless Call – Cruelly Does It Resound!
Goat quoted 80 / 100
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