Aetherius Obscuritas
Black Medicine

Paragon Records 2009

For the purpose of this review I will be using the English titles for the tracks.  With Black Medicine Hungary's longstanding black metal iron men Aetherius Obscuritas delivered an album that is surprisingly catchy and mature.  The album's opener First Breath is only a taste of what is to come.  I am instantly reminded of Gehenna's Malice album but with a heavier slant towards some Kampfar influences and some unique quirks all their own such as the shimmering guitar and rapid drum bursts that populate the symphonic landscape of the track.  The midtempo pace of the title-track is mildly menacing as its riffs snarl before issuing forth blast beats and strange distorted vocals that quickly shift towards a melodic angle.  Passed Out Of Sight - Pass Out Of Mind begins with an epic tone through its skillful songwriting, however it soon drops into a blasting passage that is reminiscent of several other fast paced sections of previous songs.  Luckily the song is saved by some lightning quick melodies and folky vocal segments.  The melodies that emerge on this song bring to mind some old Eucharist songs.  After a cool folky passage, Freezing Embrace slinks in from the darkness but once again works against itself with the blasting passages that take away from the more interesting melodic segments.  Luckily more Eucharist melodies surface and the bass guitar really takes on a life of its own during this track.  There are two cover songs featured on this album, Marduk's Black Tormentor Of Satan and Running Wild's Black Demon.  They are both well done but really only the Running Wild cover adds something to the album because Aetherius Obscuritas blackens its over-the-top catchy riffs and infectious chorus.  I'll admit this review took so long because I wasn't expecting much from this album.  However, I was pleasantly surprised by Black Medicine.  There are some really well written melodies tempered by folkish accents and straight-on black metal.  However I feel that Aetherius Obscuratis would do well to tone down the overuse of blasting sections.