When considering the evolution of black metal as a genre, it’s curious how quick it was to adopt and incorporate elements from outside itself—folk, industrial, electro, etc.—yet it took a relatively long time for it to crop up as an influence on acts existing outside of its strictly defined continuum. This may be in part due to its existence as a ‘total system’, incorporating as it does a set of tropes which have, by and large, proven impenetrable to outsiders, be they religious Satanism, generalized misanthropy, Heathen/pagan spirituality, and, often enough, dubious political stances. However, in recent years it has become more common to see bands from outside the cult heartland of ‘true’ black and death metal incorporate influences from those scenes as one aspect of a sound among many while having little use for the extra-musical trappings of the genre. Perhaps most common as exemplars of this tendency are a raft of bands originating in the crust/D-beat scene, of whom Stockholm’s Regnvm Animale have produced in the form of Et sic in infinitum: an interesting if not entirely satisfying addition to the catalogue.
The primary issue with the way Regnvm Animale combine their influences is that they tend to present them in terms of songs which sound like they were written by different bands rather than coalescing in the same track. To that effect, opener ‘Maya’ sounds like a fairly typical Scandinavian D-beat punk track, complete with shouted vocals, if one subtracts the melodic lead guitar element. Yet, a couple of tracks further into the album take on an epic, almost ’90’s Peaceville Records-sounding track complete with clean guitars and a doomy feel. Another couple of tracks in and we’re presented with blastbeats, tremolo guitars, and standard snarled black-metal vocals. The final track, ‘Grund’, appears to be a traditional folk tune complete with banjo.
While each of these stylistic aspects is quite passable in its own right, and more often than not entirely enjoyable, it would be easy to imagine that one were listening to a label sampler of bands which might share members and some stylistic and recording similarities, but which are presented as distinct entities in their own right. To a certain degree, Et sic in infinitum can be boiled down to the two-member home-studio format, as well as to the relative newness of the band. There really is a lot to like here—one of the greatest things about writing on music is that albums which you would almost certainly not have listened to on your own (or at least not the requisite number of times to produce a fair and balanced opinion) cross your path. I think if the band can consolidate their influences better into a coherent whole, their next album will definitely be worth checking out less as something of an oddity or experiment, which Et sic in infinitum stands as, but as a fully realized concept in its own right.
02) Ars Moriendi
03) Från bördig jord till salthed
06) Och så vidare i evighet