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Track Premiere: Moss Upon the Skull – “Reverse Celebration”

Fact: I, Voidhanger Records is one of (if not the) most impeccably curated labels in all of metal. I have no idea how he does it, or where he keeps finding all of these outstanding, boundary-pushing bands. All I know is that even on the rare occasion that I don’t necessarily like a band, I can’t think of a single artist the label has released that I wasn’t able to appreciate on an artistic level.

That being said, I primarily think of I, Voidhanger as a black metal label. However, if they keep finding bands like the Brussels-based Moss Upon the Skull, I may be forced to reconsider. At the risk of sounding like I’m punning (I’m not), Moss Upon the Skull’s name gives you a pretty good idea of their particular approach to progressive death metal: earthy and cerebral. In a genre that tends to paint in kaleidoscopic colors, their debit long-player In Vengeful Reverence is mostly a study in varying shades of browns and greens. There is a hint of blue, though, as singer/guitarist Jef Van de Weghe explains:

“The album title refers to dealing with frustration, hardship or threat, not in an emotional way but with serene rationality, in order to overcome the adversity and remove the cause of the challenge. The blue flame concept informing the album represents the release of anger and frustration in a constructive and creative way. It makes sense to channel these energies into manipulating the world around us to serve our purpose, call it magick or willpower.”

We’re premiering “Reverse Celebration,” the opening track from In Vengeful Reverence, here today at the Vault, and not only does it make for a perfect album opener – it’s also a damn fine introduction for those as-yet unfamiliar with with band. The clean, intricate guitar lines, esoteric melodies, and unexpected percussive patterns make the the song feel far more labyrinthine than its just over four-minute run time would indicate, while the occasional clean vocal accents add an otherworldly element to the proceedings.

In Vengeful Reverence will be available on October 19 from I, Voidhanger Records (preorder here). Give “Reverse Celebration” a listen, read the lyrics, and then grab yourself a copy.

Reverse Celebration

(Lyrics – Tristan)

I’m incompatible to all your needs
Detracting from all you believe
Look for me nearby and I’ll be far away
The distant perfector, the truth to your lies

I am opposition eternal
Sworn in on a black stone
My holy name is written
In the book of the dissident

But I might try
And speak stones
So take heed
That they not beat out your brains
And break not your bones

Instead
Let them take away delusions
From before your eyes
Or let what is now heard
Be a grave oration

Cursed with blessings
Crushing and dreadful
Blessed by curses
Threatening and truthful

By rays of the stars
Rites of negation
In times of impurity
Reverse celebration

But I might try
And speak stones
So take heed
That they not beat out your brains
And break not your bones

Instead
Let them take away delusions
From before your eyes
Or accept what is now heard
Be a grave oration

Arrogant slaves who cloak
Under that venerable title of intelligent life
Horrible and irrelevant
You cluster around a crumbling throne

Cursed with blessings
Crushing and dreadful
Blessed by curses
Threatening and truthful

Always the other side of all that exists
Know only dissonance
Whatever the thought may be
I do not agree

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