This isn't the first time we've covered Roman Catholic black metal band Reverorum ib Malacht, nor is it the first time we've debuted new material from this controversial Swedish band… but it is the first time the band has released two separate albums at once (yes, De Mysteriis dom Christi had three separate editions with different material for each format, but the band insists on it being a single work). The two incredibly different Not Here (to be released by Rubeus Obex) and Svag i Döden (to be released by The Ajna Offensive) display the band reaching in two different directions simultaneously, all under the banner of experimental, devoted black metal.

To start in more familiar (and probably more appealing) territory to our black metal audience, Svag i Döden is a more outright continuation of Reverorum ib Malacht's more riff-centric, traditionally "Roman Catholic black metal" sound they revolutionized on albums like Urkaos and the CD edition of De Mysteriis dom Christi. Though not as sinister as its predecessors -- I'd argue that Svag i Döden is more majestic than the aforementioned two, who concentrated more on the darkness associated with Roman Catholicism and lore -- Svag i Döden's smooth, muffled black metal is hypnotic and more concrete than, say, Ter Agios Numini or last year's especially challenging Vad är inte sju huvud?.

Concentrating less using electronics to obfuscate talented songwriting, the Reverorum ib Malacht troupe (which boasts an impressive seven people shuffling in and out of its roster) uses Svag i Döden as a means of showcasing their songwriting talents through a velvet sheen reminiscent of their Gnostic/pre-Catholic 2005 demo What Do You Think of the Old God, We Call Him Judas?. This is what people might expect from the "Roman Catholic black metal" tag -- cathedral reverb, chanting, and prayers wrapped up in the guise of black metal (though many will argue that its separation from overt Satanism separates it from the genre). Stream Svag i Döden in full below.

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Not Here, on the other hand, is a companion piece to Svag i Döden and, as such, explores a much more difficult and different musical sphere than its sibling. Pounding and electronics-heavy (but still black metal), the horrifying and enthralling Not Here explores the hidden spaces Reverorum ib Malacht left untouched across their now-ten-album sprint across the past decade.

With a piercing and powerful drum machine pushed to the forefront and all riffwork existing as textural intrigue, Not Here puts black metal on its head, concentrating on the genre's pounding, anti-rhythmic aspects, forcing the listener through digital oppression, slowly revealing its majesty over time. Whereas Svag i Döden presents itself as a vaguely traditional black metal affair, Not Here's complex experience is a flaming wheel of eyes, presenting its horrific being to the listener and demanding "Do not be afraid." Listen to Not Here in full below.

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Releasing multiple albums at once is not unfamiliar territory for the always challenging Reverorum ib Malacht, but the division found here shows a band in flux -- which direction will they take next? Always evolving, but always devout, the Reverorum ib Malacht collective doesn't preoccupy themselves with the simple, human idea of linear evolution. They've transcended that, and through difficulty and faith have they found multiple simultaneous paths through which they move forward. Jorge Luis Borges once wrote "I leave to various future times," and so does Reverorum ib Malacht.

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Svag i Döden and Not Here release tomorrow on The Ajna Offensive and Rubeus Obex, respectfully.

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