On September 11th internationally, The Sinister Flame is proud to present the highly anticipated second album of Finland’s Ordinance, In Purge There is No Remission, on CD and vinyl LP formats.
Formed sometime during the beginning of this cursed new millennium, Ordinance have been a study of patience and pride. Not for them to rush out releases; each creation comes when it is ready. No more, no less…no mystique intended. Neither for them is the term “Finnish black metal” appropriate, despite their country of origin; rather, BLACK METAL is the only torch worth bearing in the Ordinance world. And so far, across a demo in 2007 and the Relinquishment debut album in 2014, that torch has been brilliant in its searing obsidian glow.
Naturally for a band that eschews wider visibility and the cheap gimmicks or safe categorization that gets many/most bands there, Ordinance have remained something of a “diamond in the rough” as it were – a band too often (and unjustly) overlooked, based solely on the strength of their recordings. While The Sinister Flame does not hold out much hope for the public changing its weak ways, it is confident in saying that Ordinance have delivered their most potent work yet in their long-awaited sophomore album, In Purge There is No Remission.
The title itself bears especial portent, as musically, Ordinance literally leave no stone unturned (or weapon unused?) in their quest for the ultimate expression of black metal. The sound is immediately and irrevocably BLACK METAL, to be sure, but the duo bend so many unorthodox means to their diabolical design – and, it must be said, effortlessly and unselfconsciously so – that the end result is paradoxically orthodox, or at least a stridently purer iteration of black metal than one would expect given the band’s wild ‘n’ wayward attack. Thus, one could say that In Purge There is No Remission is black metal by language, but Ordinance‘s dialect is an undeniably unique one.
Utterly ominous, tauntingly sinister, Ordinance here create a seven-song soundscape that manages to unnerve and unhinge the listener as ably as the band have already done to their own spiritual parameters. A dense-but-devious 50 minutes in total, In Purge There is No Remission possesses an atmosphere that’s unpredictable yet unified, exciting but never scattershot. This is a work of master craftsmen and cunning sorcerers simultaneously, a delirious (and delirium-inducing) trip into madness and mysticism: a reconstitution of second-wave classicism with boundaries both broken and built. This is Ordinance‘s In Purge There is No Remission, and it demands that only the adventurous and ardent apply.
Track-listing for In Purge There is No Remission
USA distribution by Dark Descent Records
TEMPLE - In the Sign of the Five Angles LP [TSF014]
A literal bolt from the blue (or deepest black?), emerging with no warning and even less fanfare, Stygian Temple released their debut album, In the Sign of the Five Angles, on CD format in 2016. With no prior public recordings, this release flew far too under the radar of even the most diehard underground-dwellers, which is criminal to say the very least: here, Stygian Temple evinced a mastery of black metal that defied their otherwise-new standing. Indeed, one could even say that In the Sign of the Five Angles was some lost Sombre Records release from the late '90s, so authentic was its ancient pallor - but then again, the late/great Sombre would NEVER release a CD in the first place...
The Sinister Flame lives in the present, but breathes the past just as potently, and therein lies the rationale for at last unleashing Stygian Temple's In the Sign of the Five Angles on vinyl for the first time ever. Whether the year is 2020 or 1998, this 41-minute opus is driven by a timeless, purely Satanic fanaticism. After the appropriately mood-setting intro, this Teutonic duo then transforms the six subsequent tracks into a menacing void of cold & atmospheric all-caps BLACK METAL. It's imperative to understand that latter point here, for Stygian Temple possess an exceedingly astute grasp of melodicism: surely, a word that might rankle the noses of those who grew up in more modern times of "cavernous"-this and "sepulchral"-that, but cast your gaze back to the days of purple 'n' blue covers and one will find that nearly every worthy horde back then backed up their battery with spiraling, nightsky-melodic riffing. Such is the case here, tenfold, and it's welded onto thoroughly dynamic, first-class songwriting that sacrifices not an ounce of power nor nuance. We could make further references to early Watain, even-earlier Dark Funeral, and perhaps Mayhem's De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas to give a clearer view of Stygian Temple's primary influences, but on evidence of In the Sign of the Five Angles, their glorification of Satan is entirely their own.
Thanks to the ever-flowing mass of useless "black metal" that's shamelessly released by hundreds of labels on a monthly basis, there are many pearls that never get the attention they would very much deserve nor seem to reach the right hands. Thus, The Sinister Flame deems it their duty to shine a further blacklight on Stygian Temple's In the Sign of the Five Angles by releasing it on vinyl. You snooze, you pose!
for In the Sign of the Five Angles