L’ACEPHALE, Nothing is True, Everything is Permitted (2009, Radical Matters Editions)
Similar to the Witchtrap skull (SKULL54), we have an overhead (no pun intended) view of a skull ridden with writing on its cranium. The scrawl is either Spanish or Portugese, and the book that the skull rests upon is slightly Bible-ish, but more like a hymnal or stanzas of an epic poem. Looks like a photograph, and quite a good one at that. Classy and creepy at once.
I’m suspicious of seemingly hipster-born black metal from either Portland, Oregon or San Francisco, California. Not without good reason, but some of the bands cropping up in these hotbeds of neo-black metal are actually pretty interesting. This Portland band’s name means “Headless” (totally different than “skulless,” mind you) and their metal is black and epic, having the forest-y vibe of early Ulver and early Fleurety, with some tasteful keyboards providing additional atmosphere and some pitched vocals similar to Garm’s voice in the Bergtatt era. But they do a lot more, too. This particular track was originally on their Malefeasance album, but here it is in an extended remix that’s all kinds of fucked up, although I can’t tell you how it differs from the original, sorry. I do know the original is 23 minutes, whereas this remix? A cozy 93 minutes. And fuck no I didn’t listen to the whole thing. It’s probably not the best representation of the band either, or at least it provides a good view into their more avant-garde tendencies, incorporating folk, ritualistic ambient drone, and noise. Heady stuff.– Friar Wagner