Panegyrist – Hierurgy

[Reviewed by: Iaha Crax]

Is it not a case of misfortune that music of this attire replaces the prophetic inspiration? If Black Metal would not be there to support, like a vessel (sic!), singer/lyricist Elijah Tamu’s message, would now be the modern Solomon and bless us with the psalms of disconsolation. Instead, we are called to this celebration of tormented self-transformation. Perhaps where poetry and religion is not enough, Black Metal is required (except for those who drink beer free of alcohol).

“Hierurgy” follows a process of individuation, and if such a contingent speech makes you angry, you may very start cleaning your room, which is a parallel to the day-to-day change. “Hierurgy” starts the retreating in a cave with “Idylls of the Cave”, no Gabriel arrives with the Quran, instead we receive a beautiful melody of progressive heavy Black (clearly relinking the heritage with Ihsahn), a descent into the ego that takes the shape of a truly in-depth self-exegesis through text and sound (“Hear me, Christ aflame, as I fall into myself; Afloat in emptiness we speak.”). “To Quicken Stone”, raw like the rough stone of the philosopher, is an alchemical text containing the famous VITRIOL and a melodic extreme metal phrasing opaque and smooth, the calm boiling of substances inside the athanor furnace.

There are projects attempting a certain restoration of theosophy by the means of Black Metal. Maybe they should call up a serious reaction from modern researchers, since their message shows consistency and coherence, and above that a syncretism of arts (the medieval ideal and more). This is the case for this new quintet from Chicago, Illinois formed in 2017, and for their first album released by I, Voidhanger Records (Italy).

In the absence of institutional church, Eucharist is a personal allegory, essential on this road of reborn; “The Void is the Heart of the Flame”, an intermezzo track, brings at surface some visionary images, occult metaphors that suggest the mystery.

“Hierurgy” by Panegyrist is an album guided by the impression of a fundamental harmony between musical research and prophetic revelation. “Ophidian Crucifix”, a tapestry of radiant heavy Black Metal upon which evocative words are weaved, is permeated by an occult feeling that seems to trans-board the spirit out of the body and relocate it in this imagery thought of by Elijah Tamu.

The prose of Panegyrist belongs to a domain in lineage to alchemical Chinese or Sufi poets, the expression of a meditative mind; and how else can one evoke the ecstasy? Here comes this final tune, “Hierurgy”, an union on allegorical ground with a past and an origin forgotten, “perpetual return to what I have never known”; splendidly displayed, the Black Metal flow is mastered by a narrative-tempered spirit, giving place to wonder and questioning with the same intensity as the lyrics do.

For those of us still not only allured but also the apprentices of the occult, Panegyrist’s “Hierurgy” will not be just an exhilarating audition, but even an object of study, an artifact meant to figure on the bookshelf next to Hermes Trismegists or Paracelsus; if some still hesitate in having this album I can send them a printed DYI edition of Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie by Eliphas Levi to get prepared.

PanegyristHierurgy
I, Voidhanger Records, IVR099
CD/Digital 2018

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