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Tuesday, April 6, 2021
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Probably the most active Metal artist from Swiss (or at least one of the …) is Sergio Da Silva, especially known under his moniker Bornyhake. Enoid, Oculus, Borgne, Pure, My Death Belongs To You, Porifice; it’s just a small selection of acts he’s involved with, mostly as sole member. Besides, he’s active as guest / session / live musician for tens, probably hundreds, of other acts, and he runs some labels and distribution channels too. Finally, Bornyhake works behind the studio-knobs too as mixer / master.

When it comes to his labels, well, Azif Records is one of his labels, being involved with this specific release. And that release is called Ascraedunum, which is, at this moment, the first and sole recording for his new outfit Nivatakavachas. This project is named after an evil ‘race’ of demonic entities within the Hindu religion and mythology. So, this said…

Bornyhake did write and record the material for his first Nivatakavachas album during 2019 and 2020, when covid surprised mankind with its blitz-attack. After the whole thing got recorded and mixed decently (at the Chaos Studio), he signed to Satanath Records, a cool label that is no stranger at all to this musician’s projects (think Pure or Enoid, and even My Death Belongs To You when looking further with an open-minded vision, for those who understand me).

(by the way, the layout was taken care of by Jane Orpheus, so here’s another interesting link in between this Swiss project and the Funere label)

Ascraedunum got released, as mentioned before, via Satanath Records and Azif Records via digital sources as well as on compact disc. The latter is a jewel-case edition, which comes with a four-page booklet. It has quite disturbing artwork, courtesy of some Alexandra Vigier (Fera_Pessima), and it was initially released in Spring 2021 (yes, I know; it’s been quite some time, yet it is never, ever, too late to review a great recording!). For the interested ones: there’s a tape-edition too in the meantime, available via Rat Covenant. There are ‘only’ three ‘songs’ on it, yet the whole adventure lasts for more than half an hour!

These ‘three fierce rides through the esoteric realms of sorrow and misfortune’ (beautifully defined) come with a majestic sound-quality, which is dense and down-earthed, yet solid and well-balanced too. It wouldn’t be that ridiculous to add that it might have been influenced by the Swedish scene of Old. It are the sound of the string-sections especially that remind me of that glorious shade of old-schooled magnificence. Besides, Ascraedunum comes with an excellent mix (the balance in between all voices and instruments is top-notch), yet behind the professional production, the eventual outcome preserves a prodigious asperity and an acrimonious crudity.

The first piece is the shortest out of three with its duration of 9:28 minutes. The opening sequence of Capnomancy explains what I just mentioned in my former paragraph, when referring to that Swedeath-styled approach in sound-texture. That introduction, well, that massive amalgam of pounding drum-patterns and low-tuned strings hits like a spiked hammer on a baby’s skull. Soon this gets accompanied by hypnotic leads (an effect that goes for both other compositions too) and ultimately deep-growling grunts. That balance in between these mesmeric guitar melodies and that overwhelming rhythm section, combined with that barbarian throat, results in a masochistic pleasure caressing one’s eardrums with vitriol and napalm. It surely explores like-minded niches that dwell within spheres of Morbid Doom and Doom-Death delicacy. At almost two minutes, things turn even more dim and oppressive, with a funereal approach overruling the bruteness of the first minutes. And there is a continuous evolution / diversity, with fragments of inner melancholia, of intolerant profundity, of paralyzing torpor. Up-tempo excerpts interact well with slow chapters of indolent majesty at the one hand, a merciless outbursts of blackened spite. Add some psychotropic injections and the bleakest senses of Sludge-laden monstrosity, and you know what this opener stands for…

Oneiromancy (ten minutes of length) has a similar construction, yet there are more blasting excerpts and more discordant elements as from the very beginning. This mind-twister exhales a mostly obscured identity, at the very same time being abyssal in sound and enormous in execution. The fine equilibrium of haunting passages (once again the many enchanting leads impress and overwhelm) and devastating eruptions goes beyond imagination. It’s almost emotional to experience these vagarious yet invaluable drums and percussions that add their own periphrasis to the whole sonic experience.

The longest piece, Hepatoscopy, reassembles the remnants of post-apocalyptic chaotic shards-of-noise, while creating a well-thought balance of monstrous extremity and dexterous finesse. Pieces of flabbergasting grandeur go well with malign outbursts of calamity and bigotry. Once again, that old-styled nucleus equipoises smoothly and perfectly with a timeless stratagem of thunderous massiveness. Hepatoscopy brings several fragments of mostly technically-executed bravery, still permanently being penetrated by those intoxicating guitar-leads and that all-overcasting obscurity behind the bass / rhythm guitars and percussions. The savage grunts simply strengthen the horrific experience. And hey, even-though it lasts for little more than one minute, yet that outro is simply grandiose in its abundant simplicity.