By now, the name MAVORIM should be more than familiar to those who follow the crimes of PURITY THROUGH FIRE. Since the band's formation in 2014, mainman Baptist has restlessly and relentlessly pursued his stark, austere style of black metal, resulting in three full-lengths and seven other shorter-length works. Collectively, MAVORIM have quickly come to define the new breed of German black metal that hearkens back to the old guard: Teutonic to the bone, harsh and harrowing yet heralding triumph.
And so the battle wages on with MAVORIM's fourth album, Ab Amitia Pulsae. Immediately and dramatically, this is classic MAVORIM - charging hard onto the battlefield, bloody swords raised, rough-yet-rousing melodicism to the fore, with Baptist's gruff, exhortative throat leading the charge - but as Ab Amitia Pulsae plays on, new vistas of their signature sound are revealed. While still qualitatively a black metal record, MAVORIM's fourth album displays deft layering of sounds, particularly Baptist's subtle-yet-concerted integration of keyboards and other synth sounds, altogether adding an exceptionally dynamic contour to otherwise-straightforward aggression. Further, his guitar leads display a much wider swath of feeling as well as texture, each song seemingly featuring something quite new in the greater MAVORIM dialect, while drumming co-conspirator Valfor occasionally add his choral voices to poignant effect. And it's gripping and urgent all the way through to the 53-minute album's end...again and again and again.
At times tragic, at times folkloric, melancholy giving way to bloodlust, Ab Amitia Pulsae proves once again that MAVORIM are uniquely adept at fully coloring within the lines of black metal with the boldest and bravest hues.