Ah Ciliz piqued my attention for two reasons: a) it involves W. from the rather excellent Grimlair as a session musician on the first two tracks and b) it emerges on one of the most exciting underground Black Metal labels operating anywhere in the universe right now – Selbstmord Kommando Produktionen. From the get-go, this album – which comes in a DVD case and is limited to just one hundred very affordable units – had the potential to be something quite special; I’m glad to say ‘Reawakening Ancient Sorrow’ hasn’t disappointed.
After ambient four-minute opener ‘1533, The Fall of Tawantinsuyo’ disperses, ‘Oceans From My Veins’ pours through the speakers, awash with pain and melancholy, eight minutes of depressive, deeply anguished BM, executed in the lo-fi minimal style of early Hypothermia, flooding the senses, crushing the spirit with its sombre, morose intent, suffocating the listener in a blanket of inconsolable despair. The electrics are turned way down and what we are left with is almost acoustic, but not quite. The vocals are piercing, haunting, coruscating. Doom and gloom all the way, my friends.
‘Comatose’ is beautiful, atmospheric yet crushing, reminding me of a more subdued Drowning The Light perhaps, while ‘Fragil Serviente’ is as delicate, submissive and vulnerable as the title suggests, coming across like a Black Metal version of Cult of Luna. Fans of everything from Woods Of Desolation to Sigur Ros should find something here to enjoy. The dynamic in play right across the hour’s duration of this album (including two bonus tracks) is a joy to behold, the timing is perfect, the mood capturing a perfect balance between utter dejection and supreme rapture – two emotions that are of course parallel, separated by the thin lines of sanity and nothing else.
The fifth track, ‘Creators Of Time (Mayan Resurrection)’ could possibly be the highlight of a stellar collection, fluctuating between highs and lows, covering many moods, working on the subconscious mind in a manner that most music can’t come close to. But there’s no let-up: ‘Ancient Mayan Sorcery’ is both hypnotic and aggressive, surprisingly violent in light of its passive opening, exploding like a torrent of rage, demonstrating that this hitherto unheralded American is a gifted individual blessing the underground with his presence.
Suffice to say, ‘Reawakening Ancient Sorrow’ is all killer, no filler (even though the bonus tracks are rougher and rawer than their predecessors, lending them a more spectral aura). There are many peaks to be experienced on this CD, but no troughs. If you want some depressive, ambient Black Metal that is more likely to blow your socks off than turn you gay, then this is one you need to hear.