STIGMA DIABOLICUM  Terror Inside  CASSETTE   (Infernal Kommando)   5.98

We've picked up a bunch of different cassettes from the French black metal label Infernal Kommand for Crucial Blast, all of 'em filled with weird and freaked out occult black metal mutations and queasy psychedelic ambience scraped from the underbelly of the French BM underground. Some of the tapes that we've been able to get are from familiar freakazoids (like the brilliantly fucked one man black metal of Zarach'Baal'Tharagh), while others are new discoveries, from the pitch-black void-ambience of Aymrev Erkroz Prevre and the ritual industrial murk of Stigma Diabolicum, to the sadistic satanic power electronic/crypt-drone rites of Silcharde, Malvoisie's bizarre didgeridoo-fueled black metal hallucinations and the perverted blackgrind overload of Kratornas. All of this stuff is brilliant and fucked, the sort of damaged outsider black metal weirdness that we lust for constantly, and fellow fans of all things blackened and noisy and abstract should definitely check all of these titles out.

Loner black metal mutant Luc Mertz is already well known to me thanks to his insanely prolific bedroom black metal band Zarach'Baal'Tharagh, but I didn't know anything about the other projects that he's involved in until we picked up these Infernal Kommando tapes recently. Once of the projects that I checked out and dug was Stigma Diabolicum, who I didnt know anything about but was instantly hooked by the couple of tracks that I was able to find of theirs online. I'm a sucker for pretty much anything along the lines of black ambience, and Stigma Diabolicum's murky ritualistic crypt-drones definitely deliver some serious evil vibes. It wasn't until I got the two cassettes that this project released on Infernal Kommando that I realized that this was just another alter ego of Mertz, here leaving behind his trademark brand of brain-damaged psychedelic blackpunk/noizeslop and unfurling monstrous slabs of doomy industrial dread across a series of twenty five tracks, each one titled "Zombified (ZLT 50 mg)", parts 1-25. There has always been an obvious old school noise/industrial element to ZBT's music, but here that influence comes to the fore, each track a surreal black blot of wavering electronic tones and slimy dungeon ambience, demonic groans and distant tribal percussion, a pitch black industrial death-ritual that sounds slurred and syrupy, like the tape player is slowing down as the batteries die, the hellish tribal pound oozing out like black tar from the speakers for more than forty-seven minutes. Obviously, the influence of Abruptum is felt here, but this shit is way more informed by early industrial than the improvised black metal of Abruptum, and actually comes much closer to the ultra-minimal coffin murk of some of the later Havohej material. It's excellent stuff, though anyone looking for anything resembling "black metal" certainly won't find it here. Released in 2005, this cassettes is the first in a set of two, and you'll find the Terror Inside II cassette also reviewed in this weeks new arrivals list.

Track Samples:
Sample : STIGMA DIABOLICUM-Terror Inside
Sample : STIGMA DIABOLICUM-Terror Inside