The hard-hitting Swedish black metal group Regnvm Animale sound thoroughly compelling on their powerful new album Ignis Sacer, which is available now.
“Ignis Sacer” appears to mean “fire” in Latin, and Regnvm Animale — which appears to be a stylization of the Latin phrase for “animal kingdom” — describe this new record as “songs lamenting a failing system.” Musically, these new songs feel like a stark examination of these themes — the sounds are imposing and grim.
Via occasionally utilizing galloping hardcore rhythms and often performing with rather hoarse and heavy tones, Regnvm Animale sometimes lean into blackened crust, but they don’t stay there, and their latest effort features rich dynamic swings that make the album feel like an immersive experience.
After the mournful tones that sound like they’re from an organ on track one and the earthy twang of the first minute or so of follow-up track “Interregnum,” the group launches into uncompromising and hard-hitting black metal that seems to pulse with desperate emotion. Rather than employing particularly icy tones, the music feels lively while still carrying a crusty edge. In its brisker moments, the sounds feel fiery, and the subtly grandiose flow of the tunes makes the album’s journey feel like standing alone in a field as a stark and solitary building burns nearby. It’s a combination of the personal and the inescapably ominous.
The music feels bracing, like facing a symbol of destruction while racked with creeping internal ache. Rather than a particularly blast beat-centric presentation, Regnvm Animale include tons of room to really feel the emotional outpourings within their music. The rhythms feel billowing and utterly gripping, with a striking unease that stays just below the level of distracting from the music’s forward push. Rather, the group has extended a feeling of bristling shock throughout their music’s runtime, as though capturing feelings of raw desperation emanating from the natural world itself. The music contains tense power, but metaphorical wails waft through the strenuous journey.
The group’s intricately orchestrated dynamics help build the emotional dimensions of the experience. The album’s title track, which appears third overall, features some doom-inflected and brooding rhythms, while at other points, like the immediately following track “Missväxt,” Regnvm Animale utilize increasingly fast and formidable riffing. That particular track grows from a blackened crust trot into tenser and more blistering riffs before easing back into a temporarily solemn but still stately segment, and the dynamics move along a similar spectrum across the entire song and record.
The final track, “Suveränitetserosion,” features a particularly sharp contrast, alternating between desperation-wracked but breathable performances and blistering and stormy riffs. The experience is powerful.
Listen to Ignis Sacer below!