Black Star Gnosis’ is a truly evil-sounding record that transports us magickally back the olden days of Black Metal, and also the old days of Demoncy – an entity clearly not interested in progression or evolution. Which of course is great. The exact same sense of corruption and darkness that enshrouded iconic Demonic releases of yore such as ‘Within the Sylvan Realms of Frost’ and ‘Joined in Darkness’ is evident in abundance on the fifth full-length, which arrives over a decade since the most recent prior Demoncy recorded material.

It’s refreshing and very telling that Ixithra is sticking unswervingly to the (left hand) path he set out upon three and a half decades ago. ‘Black Star Gnosis’ – and indeed the equally fantastic ‘Diabolica Blasphemiae’ MLP which has been released around the same time – is an affirmation of his complete single-minded dedication to the dark arts, an occult sonic manifestation that is timeless in nature, reeking of cosmic darkness from inception to conclusion, 35 minutes of supreme USBM that way it was meant to be.

Ominous and foreboding intro ‘Across the Setian Planes’ very effectively sets the tone for the descent into pure, absolute darkness that is to come, with an aura of pure undiluted evil omnipresent as the original, inimitable Demoncy mastermind and his unholy acolyte VJS weave a rich dark tapestry of nocturnal esoteric malevolence, these nine new spells opening the gateway to an infinite cosmic void where only utter darkness resides.

While there is nothing particularly complicated, technical or innovative about the profane offerings on ‘Black Star Gnosis’, an uncanny skill and craft is deployed to conjure these pitch-black compositions. The trio of substantial instrumentals – completed by interlude ‘Syzygy of Unholy Trinity’ and outro ‘Occultation of Typhon’ – contribute greatly to the creation of an eerie, ominous and evil atmosphere, while the six swirling, serpentine incantations proper – replete with churning, insistent, enchanting riffs and ghastly serpentine rasps – demonstrate an uncanny ability to conjure the most mesmerising and disturbing black art. True to form, the lyrics are as masterful as the music itself and these are included on the insert that accompanies this delightfully degenerate LP.

Evilometer: 666/666