Spiritual growth is a continuous process of metamorphosis from one form to the next higher state of being. It is a process of constant death and rebirth. (How fitting that this review concludes on the date of Walpurgisnacht). One must embrace the destruction of each living manifestation to look towards any hope of evolution. Any stagnation is a trap – a cyclic, roundabout journey that leaves one no further ahead than the onset. So it is with this symbolic death that those with the knowledge far-too-potent for present incarnate satisfaction can move past these Earthly traps. Destruction of the self is only possible through the dissolution of the surrounding snares that hold the fiery spirit captive. So hence we embrace the antithesis to strive for independence and ascendance. Aesthetically and sensory, we cannot ignore the inherent power that resides in such a force. Metaphysically, this guides the vision and the hand on Lamia Vox’s enlightening ‘Sigillum Diaboli‘, an expression of liberating darkness and majesty. Ranging from an eerie shudder to an all-out marching bombast, the Russian sorceress unites the darkest sinister ambient with an unflinching martial triumph. The mystery remains shrouded in obscurity, but these are far from clandestine transmissions. Celebrating the nightside in such a grandiose manner thrusts the inherent power right to the forefront. It is a victory of the will, one never fulfilled with the material plane providing a glimpse into what lies beyond.
Admittedly a departure from the generally amorphous ambient Cyclic Law catalogue, it is the first album from Lamia Vox to find a home on the Canadian record label. As one of the most mysterious and alluring adepts, she is an emanation from the same abyss that Funerary Call and Zero Kama reside within. From the same ilk as several genre greats, she is the synthesis of the best of everything pitch black, evocative, and draconian. It is with a highly structured sound that Sigillum Diaboli sets itself apart from prior dense walls of audio formlessness. The effect of such a decision is a strongly listenable piece, though not without devilish intent. Successfully achieving the necessary ubiquity of this work requires a degree of accessibility.
Ghastly analog slowly invades the psyche and pushes out all mundane impulses and drives. Only the clarity of bleakness remains. At the next moment, a blast of bombastic ritualism signals the beginning of a ceremonial shift. Somewhere from the impenetrable veils emits a shadowy voice weaving a subconscious tapestry with a dusty, archaic timbre. Know it or not, but these are instructions to the soul, guiding the next stage in manifestation. Pounding rhythms and ritual tools elaborate the atmosphere – surrounded in ancestral fires, calling out to wrathful deities, stripping away the prison of flesh. Far in the background a demonic element hides in the shadows of smoky tendrils, watching and awaiting command. Warlike instrumentation amplifies a kindred level of intention and devotion to the task at hand, though never wavering in the spiritual discipline. The martial power and prowess occasionally shifts into an unavoidable dominance, and the crossroads of the two forces ebb and flow into a seamless unification. Ultimately this is a heroic journey towards attainment. Moments of potent beauty provide counterpoint and enhance the swirling darkness – reflective oases before the truly sinister refrain brings the work to a close. In a final void meditation, all of the power is on display to overwhelm and ironically to sedate. The serpentine-tongued voice returns for a final cryptic and diabolic passage. These are words of power to illustrate the grand diabolic sigil – the Sigillum Diaboli – to permeate into the aether via each listener’s crackling electric subconsciousness.
There should be no doubt that this is an actual piece of esoteric work – keenly designed and effectively executed. As listeners, we are nothing more than conduits for a higher purpose. At the mercy of a powerful executioner we are subject to a truth and potency not often experienced through art alone. Tearing through all of the restrictions of self, society, and imposed mandated spirituality is the only way to achieve this new existence. Reinforcing death on a literal and symbolic level is necessary. Illustrating an adversarial stance towards outdated structures gives way to a certain clarity. It is the raw sinister path at work. Ultimately an uphill journey, but rife with rewards. To see through the mist requires an extra awareness. Though, it is unlikely to come away from this record without some sense of renewal on a very unique level. For those whom the veil has been parted, it will now be impossible to ignore that glimpse.
01) Born Of The Abyss
02) Lapis Occultus
03) At The Crossroads Of The Worlds
04) Witches Night
05) Enemy Of Heaven
07) Evil Comes From The North
08) Sigillum Diaboli
09) The Prophecy