Black Altar – Arcana of the Higher Principles (Album Review)

Release Date: July 11th 2022 - Independent

BLACK ALTAR - “Arcana of the Higher Principles"

Poland now UK BLACK ALTAR have been terrorizing the underground with their unholy raw black metal since 1996. Arcana of the Higher Principles is a compilation of their work on three split EPS with other artists of the same mindset, Kirkebrann, Beastcraft, Varathron, and Thornspawn.

With only one new track the title itself “Arcana of the Higher Principles” is pure black metal. This is unbridled fury made audible, it is raw unfiltered aggression that is epic in its scope and loathing, the decay evident in the swarming of flies. The new track is a true highlight on an exhaustive release that covers Black Altars split works, there are Gregorian chants, excellent tremolo parts, elements of clean vocals some atmospheric moments that all add to the ritual.

“Deep Cut into the Open Wound of Mankind’’, and ‘’ I’m Demon’’ are unholy blasphemies of black metal, and it’s excellent. At a time when the genre is getting caught up in diversity, Black Altar is simply the musical nightmare of the masses, the vocals malevolent and aggressive enhanced by a musical power that is all about maximum aggression and speed. It is raw, untampered by subtlety, and supremely heavy.

The industrialized ‘’Tophet (Industrialised by PreEmptive Strike 0.1)’’ is a brief respite but the original ‘’Tophet” is far superior as is the excellent ‘’Nighthunter’’, the intros are sparse and unwelcoming, portents of the darkness contained within. Black Altar is not just a name but a personification of evil, their occultism and misanthropy drip in equal measures of hate power, and brutality as on their interpretation ‘’Pentagram Sacrifice’’ (Beastcraft cover) and their own ‘’Winds ov Decay”.

“Arcana of the Higher Principles” revels in its atmospheric pure black metal. It is raw yet excellently recorded, this is music that loathes and seethes against the constraints of morality. It revels in its corruption and the wickedness of the spirit.


Release Year: 2022
Label: self-released
Category: Album
Country: Poland

Reviewed by Sparky