Miserere Luminis
Ordalie


4.0
excellent

Review

by PizzaBear USER (1 Reviews)
April 4th, 2024 | 8 replies


Release Date: 06/24/2023 | Tracklist

Review Summary: How far post black metal is still black metal?

Have you ever had those moments where you look back at an old picture and realize you look almost totally different than you did at the time and yet, until that very moment, it felt like you’d barely changed?

Black metal as a genre has evolved tremendously over the 40 years since Venom’s titular album. While many still mainly associate it with the sound developed during its Scandinavian rebirth in the early 90s (also known as the 2nd wave), more often than not that template winds up feeling just like that old photo, a relic of a bygone era that passed us by so gradually we almost didn’t notice it happening. 2023’s Ordalie certainly shares enough similarities with its predecessors that you can identify the relation, but you’d be forgiven for assuming they must be a part of an offshoot genre rather than one and the same as the likes of Darkthrone or Burzum… and perhaps you’d be right. Because, honestly, when I think of the typical traits that make up a black metal album, Miserere Luminis’ newest release fits into very little of them.

Throughout Ordalie, Miserere Luminis never hesitate to toy with what might be expected from a supposed black metal band, to the point it could almost be seen as a testament to how far the genre has come that they have been so readily embraced by a group of fans who has historically been known for being puritanical and close minded about the music style. Rather than a buzzing, blast laden assault on the senses, Ordalie delivers a densely layered, melodic foray into metal which pays meticulous attention to detail as it constructs songs that slowly build and release tension.

Noir Fauve greets us with a mournful piano line backed by eerie strings. The bands builds on this gradually, greeting us with a deep bassline followed by some quiet guitar leads that meld themselves into the piano line until finally the drums and vocals complete the ensemble. The band rides out this passage for some time with various instruments coming to the forefront and seemingly weaving their way through one another - each on its own path while also being meticulously calculated to fit around the others. It isn’t until about the 4 minute mark that the band releases this tension and we are greeted by the first proper distorted guitar of the album – and almost as quickly as it came, it is gone again.

Ordalie as a whole is an exercise in tension and release. Noir Fauve alone delivers two to three of these small releases before diving head first into the song’s climax, one of the album’s highlights. Le sang des rêves and La fêlure des anges reduce the scope somewhat (with runtimes of a mere 8 and 7 minutes respectively, to the opener’s 13) but are well crafted pieces that expand upon the sound introduced to us in the first track, if only with somewhat less time to really build up to their dynamic shifts which leads to a loud dynamic shift hitting near the end of Le sang des rêves that, while sounding good, doesn’t feel totally “earned” and if anything sounds over-climactic. The final two tracks, which really flow together as one 15 minute closer, serve as a climax of the album as a whole. Whereas the album until then was marked by its ebbs and flows, once the electric guitars kick in on De venin et d’os, the band keeps the energy high culminating in one of the most satisfying moments of the album since the opener.

Through its ups and downs, Ordalie is firmly held together by stunning performances from all musicians (although I’d be remiss if I didn’t specifically mention the fantastic drumwork) and a production that gives every layer its space to breathe and weave in and out of the others as the songs flow along. While the album's vocal style can sometimes veer a little towards melodrama, it generally serves as a strong accompaniment to the dense, cinematic canvas laid down by the music. While your mileage may vary on how much this style resonates with you, Ordalie has firmly maintained its spot as one of my top albums of 2023, one that I return to often still well into the new year.


user ratings (74)
3.8
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
PizzaBear
April 4th 2024


499 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Tasty

Hawks
April 4th 2024


86681 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Nice review bro! Shit album. First one kills it ahrd.

PizzaBear
April 4th 2024


499 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

One day you'll come back to it and see the error of your ways and I'll be waiting for you with open arms

Hawks
April 4th 2024


86681 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Don't think so bro lol.

Purpl3Spartan
April 4th 2024


8450 Comments


that horse is on fire

Hawks
April 5th 2024


86681 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

I think he set himself on fire when he heard this album.

PizzaBear
April 6th 2024


499 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

He knew music had peaked and figured he'd go out on a high note ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Hawks
April 6th 2024


86681 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Yeah lets go with that. M////



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