Named after an infamous book written by 16th century Dutch demonologist Johann Weyer, De Praestigiis Daemonum is a stellar mini-album of scornful Parisian black metal that originally came out on Debemur Morti Productions before being re-issued on cassette by Fog Of Apocalypse. Another band that I was surprised not to have stumbled across before, the duo includes Sebastian Tuvi, a member of some other notable French BM bands like Aosoth and Balrog (and was also formerly a member of Belgian death metallers Aborted); for their debut, they invoke a complex, atmospheric sound that is immediately identifiable as being part of the French underground; fans of the Debemur Morti/Norma Evangelium Diaboli labels will no doubt dig the level of aggression, the liturgical atmosphere and blackened elegance of VI's music. Featuring four lengthy songs, De Praestigiis doesn't have the inherent weirdness of, say, Derathspell Omega, but tracks like "Je Me Dresse Devant Le Trône Et J'Attends Mon Jugement En Crachant Sur Le Livre De Vie" and "Il N'Y A Pas De Repos Ni Le Jour Ni La Nuit Pour Ceux Qui Ont Adoré La Bête Et Son Image Et Pour Quiconque A Reçu La Marque De Son Nom" (jesus christ, is that a mouthful...) are resplendent in ornate chords and majestic discordance, vicious black metal riffs tearing out of moody atmospheric passages like a pack of ravenous dogs, with some of the best songwriting on a black metal album I've heard lately. And there's the eerie choir voices and strange monastic chants that appear all over the Ep, heavenly androgynous voices rising up into the clouds, their hymns standing in stark contrast with the furious, intricate black metal, especially when the metal drops out entirely and we're left to float through the ether on those terrifying, lilting voices.
This killer Ep of French devil-worship comes in full color packaging and is limited to 300 copies.