Corona Barathri

Album Title: 
Diabolical Path (Part III)
Release Date: 
Friday, July 31, 2020
Review Type: 

The Black Mother whispered in my ear not to spend too much time on an introduction anymore. She wants me to refer to one of the reviews written before by undersigned, as well by my beloved blood brother Peter. Reverent I bow my head and spread the message: click on the links below and find out more yourself, ha!

…nothing wrong with a good laugh from time to time, but now it’s time for the serious work. And that is based on the compilation Diabolical Path (Part III), a collection of some truly portentous collaborative efforts from the Dark Path era 2018-2019. It’s a gathering of abyssal hymns, spiritual ceremonies and summoning rituals in the vein of Corona Barathri’s characteristic evocative style. The collective (Kein + Affectvs) released this album during the hot summer days of 2020 via Speculum Diaboli Records, founded and owned by Corona Barathri themselves. Besides a digital release, there’s one on compact disc too, being a four-panel digipack with remarkable, captivating artwork (once more; what else did you expect). The physical release is extremely limited, by the way. And as usual, everything is self-produced, with mastering done by Mister Kein at their IHF Studio.

As said, Diabolical Path (Part III) goes on in the vein of what this project typifies, to be considered a soundtrack for meditation, invocation and prayer, rather than ‘just another’ collection of ‘songs’. The guests who contribute too are known for their spiritual and transcendental raison d’être, resulting once more in another mighty, intoxicating aural and ritual journey through dimensions of the Obscure.

What follows is a brief description; I won’t dissect this material too deeply, but I feel like at least giving a modest focus on each ritual involved. And this starts with Hægtesblod: The Legacy Of Keziah (9:25). After a baby crying (really!), a suffocating mixture of sounds takes over the game. Haunting strings, hypnotic synth lines and witchy voices and whispers are canalized to open the gates of the subconscious. It’s a soundtrack of sacrificial grandeur, with frenzy violin, claustrophobic field recordings and truly penetrating whispering voices (as well as some terrifying screams), courtesy of no one else but Chthonia’s Jessica Luna. There is a lot going on, with one thing in common: the majesty of the occult. Towards the end, somewhat ‘angelic’ voices and piano add a level of pseudo-horrifying grandeur, like part of some underground movie that attracts and repels at the same time. Bid welcome to the Dark One…

Tiamtu - Aquae Primordiales (10:25) is a truly mesmerizing ceremony, created with country-fellowmen Maha Pralaya (expect a review on their new album Nuclear Kurukshetra, released via Black Mara, soon!), and including vocal assistance of Atroce’s Neptune Abyss. Shamanistic sounds, psychedelic flutes, evocative voices and ritualistic whispers, martial drums; it’s the invocation of the winged dragon, represented via found sounds, eerie digital soundwaves, vocal appearances and above all, a truly heavy-weighted atmosphere. The second half is even more oppressive, with voices more vile and malignant, including violin-rape addition, sounds of apocalyptic grandeur, and orchestral blackness / bleakness. Hail Tiamat!

Daemonolatreia (08:03) is a true schizophrenic experience, an anthem for some demonic ceremony that combines schizoid instrumentation (violated violins, shaman drumming, wretched synths and torturous sampling) with, once more, weird vocalization from different sources. It’s a mostly uplifting hymn, tribal in some way, hypnotizing too. It’s a tribute to Samhain, an invocation of the Horned One, created with assistance of Lamia Culta and Infernvs. This is so captivating in a most demonic manner. This is pure bewitching demonolatry…

The version of Hymnus Mortuorum (08:41) is purely hypnotic too. Of course, the additional yet oh so differing voices of Erszebeth (of Stupor Mentis-fame) give that sphere of horrific oppression an even more claustrophobic level. Reminiscent of a horror movie from the Seventies / early Eighties, this piece translates gruesome scenes into sonic tantalizing malignancy. It’s like a tribute for Death, and the Beyond, caused on purpose, meant to seek solution after life, defined by Corona Barathri’s capability to combine almost necromantical Aural Art with a pitch-black sphere of lightless dimensions.

I do adore the somewhat narrative voices in the majestic hymn Lokes Kall (12:00), courtesy of no one else but Níundi, with the additional assistance of Blòt Heathen. This tribute to Loki has so much to offer, with one thing in common: hypnotic oppression. The many vocals (spoken words, whispers, chants and throat singing), tribal percussion, eerie and floating keyboards, mouth harp (I guess), and so much more; it’s all part of one mighty homage to invoke the wizard of lies and chaos. In some way, this piece is meditative, transcending, even levitating (don’t worry, I’m still seated on my chair; but figuratively…), trespassing all borders of sonic limitation and audible restriction.

Totally esoteric in essence, Agonia (For Ulvdalir) (14:35) starts with Gregorian-inspired elegance, before morphing into some cavernous yet totally oppressing soundscape of utter obscurity. And with ‘utter obscurity’, I am referring to ultimate hadopelagic-abyssal darkness. This piece has so much to offer, changing the whole of the time into / within different shapes of blackness (‘Six-hundred and sixty-six shades of Black’?). Claustrophobic fragments interchange with metallic drones, ritual and esoteric passages with bleak moments of despair and paranoia, anguish moments of industrialized agitation with excerpts of relative introversion.

The album ends with Mirror Of Diabolus (9:25), which features vocals by S. Mortem (of Merknet-fame), who took care of the artwork of this (physical) release too. This piece too is a tribal effort, a ceremonial evocative piece with horrifying sounds, symphonic synth lines (towards the end; with some ‘church’ bells included), bleak and blackened voices, shamanistic percussion and tribal elements, as well as some fine acoustic strings (which are not that uncommon when talking about (or referring to) Corona Barathri’s former material) – even electric guitars are involved somehow. Mirror Of Diabolus is a mighty magnus opus for this third Diabolical Path adventure, and even though it is something like a compilation, the impressing cohesion is remarkable.

No more things to add… Awaken unto us! Awaken within us!