Prison of Mirrors – „De Ritualibus et Sacrificiis ad Serviendum Abysso”

Perhaps the most sinister entity to have ever come out from Italy today, Prison of Mirrors are a force to be reckoned with. The occult, rigorously ritualistic atmosphere that their debut presented here is somewhat unique and intriguing at best. The four-track record is more than just an output; it is indeed a tribute to the dark side so appropriate that listening to it in one sitting does not do justice.On this full-lenght debut, Prison of Mirrors have yet to exhibit the ability to drive listeners into insanity with abyssal complexity, but there are moments, bits and pieces, that can be considered no less worthy of your attention.It goes on to show that Prison of Mirrors are capable of crafting some memorable riff that snakes through your mind.”The Unquenchable Visions from the Abyss” invites listeners to ponder the reality of a universe of sheer emptiness and indifference to the fate of humanity, guitars and drums erupt with renewed fury and as they careen wildly all over the joint, there is a real sense of panic with every single spot of space filled with hysterical crazed strings and skins beaten hard. About halfway through the track, the music becomes more settled with a fairly sedate pace and simpler riffs, allowing the dry death-rattle howls which have been going on continuously in the background space to be heard. The music does speed up again and maintains its pace from then on all the way to the end.
The music is a mix of black, doom and post-metal with plenty of melodic passages and the entire song infused with an atmosphere of burning fire and sheer despair. There is an intensity present that reminds me of Deathspell Omega who deal in similar bleak and uncompromising subject matter and it’s quite possible the Italians have learned a thing or two from DSO. They mix rhythms, melodies, riffs and different speeds within the one song, allow for moments of searing intense and bleak ambience, and create a soundscape of continuous chaos with impossibly fast music that darts about from one thing to the next with technical precision.
The entire recording can be very dense and overwhelming and repeated hearings might be needed for listeners to appreciate what the band has done. The music is more controlled than at first it appears and the energy and anger are constant throughout the four tracks: this surely requires a great deal of concentration and endurance on the musicians’ part. The production here is fairly clear and gives the music a cold and sharp edge. The „De Ritualibus et Sacrificiis ad Serviendum Abysso” gives the impression of a dark sinister force inhabiting the music and especially those drier-than-dry death-rattle vocals that simply have to be heard to be believed.
If you haven’t heard any song from this band before, I suggest you keep yourself in touch with this debut.Taking this full length in its own suffocating realm of perspective, everything is just perfect. Svartidaudi are taking the scene to a new height with creative song writing skills that may not be so original to some, but creative enough to form an identity of their own given the fact that the scene is already way too crowded with uninspired copycat bands springing from all over the globe.If these guys can maintain the energy levels that their style requires, they ought to be a major force in black / doom metal.By all means, go and buy this album!