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Mastery – “Barbaric Usurpation of The Hypereonic Black Metal Throne” – [Tumult]


Mastery is the solo black metal project of San Francisco’s ‘Ephemeral Domignostika,’ also of Pale Chalice, Horn of Dagoth and Pandiscordian Necrogenesis. As in PN, he plays everything here, but unlike in PN, it does not seem to be improvised– although given the artist’s talents I wouldn’t be surprised to be wrong. This 2CD compilation brings together super-limited demo recordings originally out as CDRs. If the tracklist is to be believed, the material is drawn from the first three Mastery demos. The title of the collection is not idle boasting, either, as the project takes black metal to places of which lesser musicians can only dream. I have seen Pale Chalice play live, and can confirm that in Domignostika’s hands a guitar turns to liquid. This dude is not only a musical virtuoso in the classic sense, but also a black metal triple threat– great drummer, great guitarist and great shrieker. Mastery’s sound is technical, spastic and atonal, recalling the work of progressive black metal weirdos like S.V.E.S.T., Winterblut, Deathspell Omega, Leviathan and Abigor. Flensing Botanist fans, too, may find something to like in this decidedly deconstructionist approach to the genre. The ridiculously fast and precise drums will have you wondering if they’re programmed, and what Domignostika does on guitar here is equivalent to successfully painting an entire landscape using only one color. Vocals are screamed demoniac trance incantations that would give a lesser man an aneurysm. This is not ‘easy’ black metal, and to the uninitiated it may barely sound like music, but it is quite literally the product of genius. My favorite is t.2.2, but everything on these two discs is really outstanding: just watch out for t 1.7 because it’s over half an hour long (it rules though), and t.s 1.1+1.4 because they are synth interludes.

  • Reviewed by Lord Gravestench on April 7, 2014 at 2:19 am
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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