Originally released on Cd by Those Opposed and now issued on limited-edition cassette by Infernal Kommando, Caput Mortuum is the second album from this gang of French black metal mutants that features Luc from fucked-up necropunk thrash outfit Zarach'Baal'Tharagh. Not sure how this compares to Wolok's first album as I haven't had a chance to hear that yet, but Caput Mortuum is a fantastic blast of alien black metal that is one of the strangest of it's kind to come out of the French underground in the past few years. The band's approach to black metal is quite warped, with warped dissonant riffs, mangled synthesizer tones, and in-the-red blackened vocals combined with a unique form of chaos that makes their songs sound completely off-kilter and deformed.
The album kicks off with the weird processed chanting and slimy minor chords of "Bacterium Dei" that leads into some incredibly fucked-up dissonant and choppy riffing and sputtering double bass mayhem that is almost Gorguts-like, but laced with these wonky atonal guitar leads and heavily distorted shrieking vocals. Then it makes an abrupt shift into an eerie droning chug, cold and post-punk-esque but seriously heavy and sinister, then changing once again into a lurching, halting un-groove, the vocals getting more crazed and unpredictable, the guitars more atonal and warped, then erupting into manic blasting and more of those warped, processed chants. As you continue into Caput Mortuum, the band refuses to let up on the weirdness, continuing on through more atonal doom-laden dirges and noisy, angular riffs, wonky leads and layers of skronk that are all bathed in some serious effects abuse, with this thick sheen of chorus effects over everything on the album. Riffs contort into bizarre blackened carnival melodies. Blasting chaos reforms into strangely beautiful waltzing riffage while metallic ringing sounds in the background. Evocative melodies are uncoiled beneath the wonky fractured black metal. The drums surge from jagged rhythms into an almost industrialized militant pummel. Gregorian chants and the looped sounds of women screaming emerge out of clouds of shimmering synth.
This has turned into one of my favorite French black metal albums since it came in to the shop, sitting comfortably next to likeminded black metal mutants like Otargos, Spektr, Deathspell Omega, Blut Aus Nord, S.V.E.S.T., and Diapsiquir. Anyone into warped, dissonant black metal weirdness should pick this up immediately.