Merda Mundi
VI: Khaos
(Kaotoxin Records)

This is the sophomore release from Bulgaria’s own musical genius Deha of We All Die Laughing, COAG and Maladie (who just released their new album …Still… this year as well, so go pick that up) and it has essentially been a demo project for quite a number of years now. As a matter of fact, I-IV were considered demos, while 2012’s V: Agnus Satan marked the artist’s very first full-length release. In those days, the sound was closer to raw black metal, but with VI:Khaos that has absolutely changed. Kvltists will definitely shed tears for this evolution, which has moved far beyond the realms of standard black metal and introduces synths, groove elements and atmospheres in addition to all of the drum blasting that we’d expect from such a release. There’s still a whole lot of blasting and scowling on the album, but it certainly comes with a higher production value and at times hinges on a combination of death and extreme metal quite comparable to Anaal Nathrakh. Doom even makes an appearance in “The Signs Of Sins” so there’s clearly some potentially unexpected changes in occurrence here, which may not sit well with some listeners. Now I know that there is no way to convert the kvltists and expect to listen to something that sounds a bit more modernized in nature than what they’re used to, but I feel that they should at least give VI:Khaos a chance. The album still contains the grim and unwelcoming atmosphere that one should expect from black metal, with a vocal push that sounds admittedly horrifying and ultimately, well-meant. The album truly lives up to its name and is full of malice nearly ninety percent of the time. It literally sounds like an exercise in roiling hate, which could be considered therapy in alternative to murder. It is a widely held belief of mine that creating such angst-ridden music is a way to keep one sane and quite possibly out of a detention facility of some sort, nevertheless it is also a means of ecstatic emotional expression and/or belief reaffirmation. In other words, it affirms to the entire world that you hold in high regards, your specific view on a subject, whether that is a political, religious, anti-religious, anti-political or other philosophy. That is what I feel VI:Khaos embodies and why it is such a necessary musical construct. We’ve already seen the greatness of Deha and the skills he’s offered in the variety I’ve mentioned earlier. But when the man is left to his own devices here in Merda Mundi, his true musical nature and message comes sprawling forth (or one might say, vomiting forth) in a fashion of fiery passion that should see listeners eager for the next track and eventually, the next spin. Though it doesn’t meander too far out of its own territory, there’s definitely enough carnage here to be heard, felt, and absorbed without confusion. It’s a storm of emotional turmoil and viciousness that works wonders for stress. One thing’s for sure, Satan’s definitely going to be pleased with this one. (Eric May)

Purchase VI: Khaos here.

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