parajumper jacket Banished From TimeThe Metal Observer
No stranger to a high level of output, the one man Portugal based Black Cilice is back with a new full length of raw black metal mayhem. While the project’s last full release came out a couple of years back, this act did release the prior reviewed Nocturnal Mysticism in December 2016, and of course has a very extensive back catalogue. With this new album however, entitled Banished From Time, the sole member forgoes some of the more hypnotic dirges from the last EP and focuses more on an assault of riffs and faster paced music. With long tracks, and a lot to work with, Black Cilice have unleashed a monster of an album, standing out in an already strong year.
From the get go, all of the elements of the Black Cilice sound are in tact and ready to go. The underlying atmosphere from the synth work adds to and does not detract from aggressive, and at times haunting guitar lines, and accentuates the utterly disturbed vocal performance. The guitar weaves through various riffs and paces during these near 38 minutes, being able to pummel the listener, but hypnotize with repetition at times. The best example of the back to back aspect of the musical ability of Black Cilice are in the first two tracks. Where as the opener takes the more aggressive side, the follow up focuses mainly on repetition and droning to make the listener really turn introspective. While this is a trend that does carry over for the remainder of the record, there is no doubt that being able to hit this mark so well early on in the album sets the stage well for the rest of the release, and really draws the listener in, while giving them a sense of intrigue in not knowing which side of the band you may get next.
Vocally, this release has plenty of vocals, but also does not feel as if they are the focal point. That being said, the performance is inhuman sounding due to the production. The distorted screams and completely indecipherable vocal lines almost feel as more atmosphere or just another layer being added to the mix, but they are disturbing in a lot of instances, and become a highlight and point of interest to the record. There are plenty of raw black metal bands in the game, but Black Cilice do not feel as being raw for the sake of it, or using that tag to quantify bad musicianship. Each note being played and every vocal interjection is done with a purpose, and the production job is just perfect to capture the disturbed, and generally fascinating aspect of what this project is about.
It would be hard to deny that this style is not for everyone. Whether it be the production, or the vocals or whatever, Black Cilice is certainly in with a niche audience, but that does not stop this Portugal project from producing some incredible music. Where as the prior EP was a fascinating journey of ups and downs and reflection, Banished From Time is clearly more of a straight black metal record with some atmosphere added in, and one that doesn’t stop impressing from beginning to end. There is something genuinely chilling about Black Cilice, which is missing in a lot of ways in the modern age. A call back to olden times, but fresh enough to not just be a rehash act, this is one to check out.