REX MUNDI - Ontology (WOLFSPELL Records - CD 2016)
Discussing the quality of albums like “Ontology” by US black metal band Rex Mundi is kind of problematic. I did enjoy this album, yes I did. I’ve been playing it quite many times, I really got into the atmosphere of the music, I found many stunning fragments on there and generally I feel like this is not only one of the best releases from Wolfspell Records, but also an album, which I really want to recommend to all. It’s very solid, it’s well done, good sounding black metal. And that’s it. What’s the problem then? Well, maybe it’s something completely irrelevant, but tell me – how many such well done and worthy albums are being released every month? Oh, dozens I guess? And now think how many of them will really have an impact on the scene, how many of them will be remembered in the future? And how many of them do bring anything constructive to the genre? Well, I guess not so many. And that’s probably the only problem that some people may have with such album like “Ontology”. Because other than that, this is just great black metal CD, well worth to get and to listen to. I cannot say anything bad about it. OK, maybe one thing I have to pick up – the album is a bit too long, in my opinion. It goes endlessly for over 60 minutes and because the songs are rather similar to each other and none of them brings anything completely different from the other, then you will feel that 65 minutes is simply too much. I would prefer to keep albums such as this one up to 40 minutes long and that’s it. You can take two songs off this CD and release them as an EP or something and it would be fine.
Allright, I’m not picky. “Ontology” is what it is and from strictly musical point of view, this is just well done black metal. Rex Mundi presents quite clean sounding, well produced black metal, with a strong atmospheric background, filled with a lot of harmonies, easily listenable fragments, which are sometimes spiced with keyboards, acoustics or different kind of vocals… so, it all sounds just very fuckin well. The music – even if it’s fast (and it gets fast quite often) – is very easy to get into, sounds almost catchy and memorable. I know that such descriptions usually won’t fit primordial black metal sound and some purists may think now “fuck, that must be some crappy pop / black metal”. Hell, no! Rex Mundi has kept a bit of that black metal harshness, as well as aggression and cold, grim feeling. But they come up with great, melodic, atmospheric black metal. It’s nothing dull, nothing cheesy. It’s nothing that would not speak even to black metal purists. The songwriting is not bad at all, I really like many of these riffs and arrangements. It does feel sometimes like the music was circling around one song only, because all songs sound quite alike to each other. But that’s not a major problem and in the end I have to say that I did spent quite a lot of time with Rex Mundi. I’ve never heard of this band before, but their debut album was released on Debemur Morti Productions. I have to get it as well, but until then I can only recommend “Ontology”.
Standout tracks: “Holon”, “Palisade”
Final rate: 75/100