There is a point at which the only reaction one is capable of is anger. There are limits to how much people can stand before lashing out in rage, and considering the state of the world in 2017, it is surprising that there aren’t as many people taking the route that Daniel Jackson has with Mendacium. The Void Ritual mainman created this project to create a more violent, dark kind of black metal than would fit with the spirit of Void Ritual, and debut release Decimating Titans certainly possesses a lot of anger and violence. There is still plenty of second-wave influenced melody and atmosphere, but compared to Void Ritual the mood is far more belligerent, the tempos faster, and the sense of violent catharsis very much real.
Though Decimating Titans – and, by extension, Mendacium as a whole – is possessed of a more angry spirit than that of Void Ritual, there are still points of comparison. The starting point for both bands is still Scandinavian second-wave black metal, though whereas Void Ritual are a project that excels in conjuring up cold, majestic atmospheres, Mendacium instead takes the most vicious, fastest, and most aggressive parts of bands like Immortal, Emperor, and Satyricon, and increases the aggression even further. Throughout the 12 minutes of Decimating Titans there is scant space to draw breath or reel from the ferocious onslaught; blasting drums, razor-sharp tremolo-picked melodies and vicious vocals come together in a remorseless attack, and though lyrics have not been published, the statement of “Fuck Nazi sympathy. Fuck white supremacy” on the Mendacium Bandcamp page makes the source of Daniel’s vitriol clear.
Whilst Mendacium certainly has a lot of righteous fury to draw from, there’s more to Decimating Titans than simple rage and bluster. There’s a lot of melody to be found here, in a way that’s reminiscent of Emperor’s IX Equilibrium, minus the keyboards; there are riffs on here that will stay in your head long after the record has finished playing. Nor are the songs texture-less, monotone voids of hostility; they move and flow, with the kinds of textures and contrasts that many bands aiming to make violent black metal would never consider. This is most notable with the deep, ominous chants during closer ‘An Invocation for Bloodshed’, that contrast very well with the hyper-speed black metal surrounding them.
Ultimately though, Decimating Titans is a record where fury and justified anger are the main drivers and drawing points, and as such, it makes for one hell of an energising, motivating listen. This is second wave black metal that isn’t just baring its teeth in challenge, but already has its jaw locked around your throat. Put another way, it is a simply great record, and following hot on the heels of Void Ritua’s Heretical Wisdom, it shows that Daniel Jackson is on a real run of form, and I am excited to hear what he comes up with next.
Decimating Titans is available digitally via Bandcamp.