This review originally appeared on The Grim Tower website February 10 2014.
This is a one man dark black metal project from Armando Luiz, the guitarist and backing vocalist for Servi Diaboli. He cites Amen Corner, Bethlehem, Rotting Christ and Dark Fortress as influences. This is his debut album, so let’s break it down.
When I begin to play the record, I’m greeted by the title track (4:50) which sees gloomy organs backing lethargic drums and slow, brooding riffs. Armando’s vocal style seems to have a sort of rasp to it in some areas, yet it is deeper in others. But as of yet, I’ve heard nothing of real gravel. Yet this doesn’t appear to be that sort of album. “Mors In His Palude 5:44″ begins with a short piano intro and returns to the same style and structure as the former track – gloomy keyboards, slow-paced drumming, brooding riffs and Armando’s raspy vocals. The programmed drums seem to go a bit faster on this one, and the piano slowly comes into form if you listen closely, but it seems not to do so much until the guitar comes into solo a bit before some interesting arrangements towards the end of the track. “Scaevus 1:47″ serves as a rather bleak instrumental piece via violin. “Umbrae Caeli 3:14″ features more fire on the drums and a nice addition of piano. It thrashes pretty hard in some sections and is one of my favorite pieces on the record. “Anima Tenebrosa 4:02″ starts off a bit neoclassical, but delves into the same territory. “Abiditorum 4:38″ serves as a wonderfully bleak classical piece. This I would consider another standout for the disc. “Misantropiae 6:42″ is a much slower affair, it’s the most doom-laden of all the tracks, certainly delivering in it’s incredibly ominous structure. This one will gel with some almost instantly. “Advenere 2:27″ is a much speedier track, putting some kick back into the album and showing that Obitus Vitae are not strictly doom and gloom, in case you had forgotten due to the prior piece. “Mors Insidit Me 3:33″ is the closer for the disc, consisting of bleak organs and keyboard landscapes. Armando Luiz decorates the track with his demonic rasps and some background chants, serving up the final dish of this dark buffet with a definite demonic dessert.
Obitus Vitae has a bit of a raw production nature, but in all of its gloom, it’s still a relatively decent album. If you’re looking for something that is truly dark, evil, demonic, occult-laden and reeks of black metal and 80′s horror; then look no farther than this black ritual. This is the stuff that churches line up to burn, so grab a copy before it goes into the fire!
Highlights: Olfacit Mortis, Umbrae Caeli, Abiditorum, Misantropiae, Mors Insidit Me (9 Tracks, 36:00)