Peccatum – The Moribund People Review

Originally written by Harley Carlson.

At and around the time period just before the conception of IX Equilibrium, Emperor frontman Ihsahn found experimental escape through his then new side project, Peccatum. However, upon the release of IX Equilibrium, it was more than apparent that Emperor too were wading in exploratory waters. With absolute authority, Ihsahn furthered his new vision of the band with the innovative Promethius: The Discipline Of Fire & Demise. With an assortment of progressive and black metal passages, this album has been revered as the finest Emperor material ever recorded (depending on who you ask of course).

Emperor has since disbanded and Peccatum has become Ihsahn’s fulltime and only gig. On the band’s latest mini-disc The Moribund People, Ihsahn proves his genius with bleak compositions that are not necessarily flashy, but certainly epic in their own right. Pushing the limits a few notches further, these three arrangements transcend even the most experimental of Emperor creations. The Moribund People is a dark opus that offers a highly orchestrated and eclectic mix of emotional ambiance and desolate black metal. Layer upon layer of eerie atmospheres and soundscapes transform from mellow to maniacal in an unexpected instance, making for timeless songs that can be played over and over and over.

While Ihriel’s (who is also Ihsahn’s wife) beautiful melancholic voice seems to be the most relevant characteristic of Peccatum, the musical arrangements are equally breathtaking. With an array of styles incorporated into each composition, each is its own and has its own persona. The three tracks are undoubtedly individual fragments of a larger enigmatic picture that all fit together in perfect cohesion. Another standout trait of The Moribund People is the fashion in which the EP was produced. During the more tranquil segments, the recording is beyond pristine, but once a blackened phrase chimes in, the sound quality downgrades significantly to capture that rawness that encompasses the genre. This stylistic approach is the first I’ve heard of the kind and really racks up points as far as I’m concerned.

If you have never heard Peccatum, the first thing I must insist is that you forget everything you ever knew about Emperor – THIS IS NOT THEM! If you come into this with preset expectations, you are only bound for disappointment. An open mind is essential to grasp the brilliance that surrounds The Moribund People, and a patient mind may also prove helpful. Fans of Aesma Daeva and Dead Can Dance will definitely benefit looking into this release. At and around the time period just before the conception of IX Equilibrium, Emperor frontman Ihsahn found experimental escape through his then new side project, Peccatum. However, upon the release of IX Equilibrium, it was more than apparent that Emperor too were wading in exploratory waters. With absolute authority, Ihsahn furthered his new vision of the band with the innovative Promethius: The Discipline Of Fire & Demise. With an assortment of progressive and black metal passages, this album has been revered as the finest Emperor material ever recorded (depending on who you ask of course). Emperor has since disbanded and Peccatum has become Ihsahn’s fulltime and only gig. On the band’s latest mini-disc The Moribund People, Ihsahn proves his genius with bleak compositions that are not necessarily flashy, but certainly epic in their own right. Pushing the limits a few notches further, these three arrangements transcend even the most experimental of Emperor creations. The Moribund People is a dark opus that offers a highly orchestrated and eclectic mix of emotional ambiance and desolate black metal. Layer upon layer of eerie atmospheres and soundscapes transform from mellow to maniacal in an unexpected instance, making for timeless songs that can be played over and over and over. While Ihriel’s (who is also Ihsahn’s wife) beautiful melancholic voice seems to be the most relevant characteristic of Peccatum, the musical arrangements are equally breathtaking. With an array of styles incorporated into each composition, each is its own and has its own persona. The three tracks are undoubtedly individual fragments of a larger enigmatic picture that all fit together in perfect cohesion. Another standout trait of The Moribund People is the fashion in which the EP was produced. During the more tranquil segments, the recording is beyond pristine, but once a blackened phrase chimes in, the sound quality downgrades significantly to capture that rawness that encompasses the genre. This stylistic approach is the first I’ve heard of the kind and really racks up points as far as I’m concerned. If you have never heard Peccatum, the first thing I must insist is that you forget everything you ever knew about Emperor – THIS IS NOT THEM! If you come into this with preset expectations, you are only bound for disappointment. An open mind is essential to grasp the brilliance that surrounds The Moribund People, and a patient mind may also prove helpful. Fans of Aesma Daeva and Dead Can Dance will definitely benefit looking into this release.

Posted by Old Guard

The retired elite of LastRites/MetalReview.

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