By: Keith Joshua Ham

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Released on January 30, 2015 via Iron Bonehead Productions

Black Cilice is a victim of itself. There is most certainly a great project somewhere on this album, no doubt combining all sorts of progressive elements and ambiences within the black metal genre. But, oh my god, Mysteries makes my ears bleed, bleed, and continuously bleed. I can literally feel the pitch of its ambient howl (no doubt feedback from the instruments) crawling through my ears and out my nose. And, no I don’t mean this in a good way.

Like I said, underneath all this there is a pretty good sound that does some interesting stuff – instrumentally. Yeah, I don’t quite fully understand how someone refers to their music as black metal when there is such a significant lack of vocals which, face it, usually is the staple of black metal. Sadly, I think Black Cilice used the black metal label to have an excuse for the poor, poor, recording. And, that isn’t to say that bands and projects haven’t used the ‘we just played the whole album into the mic’ approach successfully – Fell Voices did it – but whereas other bands played the whole album outdoors or in wider venues, it sounds like Black Cilice recorded the whole thing in an air-tight shed where sound reflects off of everything – then turned everything up to 10. Yikes.

Mysteries is a mystery. I get the ambience might have seemed sort of cool at first glance – but the shrieking howling nastiness isn’t appealing to anyone with ears. Its a shame too because beneath all of this is some pretty good instrumental work.

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