Essenz – Mundus Numen

Mundus Numen
Released: May 2012
Doom Metal/ Black Metal
Released via Svart Records

‘Mundus Numen’ is the second album from the German occult metal band Essenz. According to a recent press release the album is built around the overall theme of: “The acquisition of ones deepest will, which enables to transform the world from an instance to a suggestible setting. A manic boundary experience.”

First up is ‘Extinguishing Shapes: Innermediate’ which combines the classic doom metal guitar riffs akin to Candlemass and to some extent Black Sabbath with eerie whispering vocals. Then there’s some atmospheric parts, and what appears to be a sample from German chant or spell. By contrast to this we have ‘Sea of Light: Pleroma’, which sees not only a change in pace but also in guitar and vocal style from doom towards black or death metal. Even when the pace slows down again temporarily, half way through the track, the doom metal riffs are still shadowed by the death metal style growls. In fact I’d say that ‘Sea of Light: Pleroma’ is probably the least doom metal sounding track I’ve ever heard. Not that it’s a bad thing per se, just not what I expected.

Indeed there are several moments in this album that challenge my view of doom metal as being all slow and droning. One such moment is the fast, black metal style drumming half way through ‘Extricate Spirits: Amor’. If there was ever such a genre as blackened doom metal, Essenz would be the its forefather. That’s not to say that there’s no real doom metal tracks on here. Most of them feature elements of the genre such as the guitar riffs in the first half of ‘Observed By Spectres – Paranoia’ or the creepy, ponderous instrumental ‘Observing Spectres – Schizophrenia’, which sees a fusion of doom metal with ambient noise.

Overall this is a very interesting mix of various genres which makes for some very uneasy listening. If you’re tuning into this expecting to hear some orthodox doom metal, you’re in for a massive shock!


Iza Raittila

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