Metal Review – NonFuckRitual – In Bondage to the Serpent (2011)

NonFuckRitual - In Bondage to the SerpentHere is one that I was looking forward to. NonFuckRitual features some serious talent in its lineup with members having been part of some big-time bands including Mayhem, Nuclear Assault, Tyrant et al. I was not really sure where their latest release, In Bondage to the Serpent, was going to go to be honest. With so many varied backgrounds, I was quite dumbfounded about what their direction would be. What came out of this mix was a very nice start with NonFuckRitual’s debut album.

The opening track, Theotokos, utilizes a mix of varied styles of metal, which one would expect based on the band lineup. It is doom oriented, but traverses experimental ground within much of this song. We are then led into Komodo Dragon, Mother Queen, which opens with a classic, droning black metal rhythm. The vocals on this one are haunting to say the least. Nestled comfortably into that droning rhythm is a haunting, raspy vocal track by Espen T. Hangård. The song once again experiments with various subgenres of metal, least of which are some doom and goth stylings.

The longest track of the album, coming in at just under nine minutes, comes at us next. Christotokos begins with a doom intro with some layered sound effects on top of it. It takes nearly three minutes for the vocals to come into the song, but it is well worth the wait when the haunting chants make their way into the song. This track becomes a very nice mix of doom and black metal interwined and playing nicely together.

Cursed Virgin, Pregnant Whore follows and the tone is kept slow and low. The doom continues and flows nicely. The last two tracks, which are not exactly lesser tracks, but do not present anything that the previous tracks did not, follow the same sort of pattern.

Overall, In Bondage to the Serpent is a haunting release that should not be missed by doom metal fans. Fans of black metal may find use out of this one too though.

The bastard spawn of Teloch (Nidingr, Mayhem), Espen T. HangÃ¥rd (Altaar), Dan Lilker (Nuclear Assault) and Andreas Jonsson (Tyrant), NUNFUCKRITUAL’s debut album In Bondage To The Serpent crawls from the gutter like a diseased, decayed and decrepit corpse; a choking dirge; a hideous, malformed infestation of filthy underground metal that ignores trends, defies categorization and brings together some of the darkest, blackest, nastiest manifestations ever committed to tape. Degraded and corrupt, these six blasphemous conjurations call upon decades of extreme metal experience to devastating effect, resulting in an album so gross, rank and genuinely disturbing that it is the aural equivalent of being cannibalized by the leprous sisters Plague and Death. An insidious poison running through your veins, slowly devouring your life force, until nothing remains, but ruin. Obsidian incantations seethe with pure evil energy, summoning ancient deities to commit terrible atrocities against organized religion, a celebration of the ultimate triumph of mankind’s dark side. Swarming, swirling and shimmering with mal-intent, In Bondage To The Serpent breaks new ground with its omnipresent, all-consuming evil vibe. This eerie, potent brew is, quite simply, a manifestation of pure, undiluted evil. Sickness never sounded so good. Or so real…

Year 2006: Teloch composes some riffs, which he shares with long-time friend Espen T. Hang̴rd. The pact is sealed. NUNFUCKRITUAL is summoned. Three years later, famous bass player Dan Lilker joins the sect, followed shortly by Andreas Jonsson on drums. In 2009, the nun fuckers start recording their first offering. Recording sessions take place in Norway and the United States of America. In March 2011 the band Рwhile working on the finer details of the album Рjoins French label Debemur Morti Productions while famous artist Christian Sloan Hall accepts to draw the front cover. During the summer, the album is mixed and mastered by Tom Kv̴lsvoll (DHG) at Strype Audio studio.
And so it begins.

NUNFUCKRITUAL lineup:
Espen T. Hang̴rd РVocals, Effects & Keyboards
Teloch – Guitars
Dan Lilker – Bass
Andreas Jonsson – Drums

Guest vocals on “Komodo Dragon, Mother Queen” by Attila Csihar (Mayhem, Sunn O))), Aborym) and Ravn (1349).

Produced by Teloch.

Music and words by Teloch and Espen T. Hangård.

Drums and guitars recorded at the Nidingr rehearsal house by Teloch in Horten – Norway.
Bass recorded at Smoke, Grind and Sleep Studios by Jon Gallo, Rochester, NY – USA.
Vocals and keyboards recorded at Dogskool by Espen T. Hang̴rd, Oslo РNorway.

Atilla’s vocals recorded at Tonitrus Studio by Laszlo Szabo, Budapest – Hungary.
Ravn’s vocals recorded at Mok Musiclab by Markus Klyve, Oslo – Norway.

Mixed & mastered at Strype Audio Studio by Tom Kvålsvoll.