NON OPUS DEI - SEM AL DIAVOL VA PORTI AL MAL - FORTRESS
The black metal scene is sliced up between two camps. On the one side are the truly Satanic bands that deliver solid metal and have traditionally correct allegiances. Think Gorgoroth, Dark Funeral or Marduk. On the other side reside bands like Gravewurm, Dimmu Borgir and Gloria Morti whose pop music tendencies and poser shenanigans disgrace the title and dilute the scene to the lowest common hipster. It is customarily easy to like the former and ridicule the latter.
Non Opus Dei is one of those ideologically correct bands that proudly wears and earns the black metal title. The band's dark and evil lyricism is matched by its devotion to metal... up to a limit. The music is generally speaking heavy and extreme, but the use of instruments like bodhran, bouzouki and violin cheapen the process. Metal was conceived as a unifying music of talent and protest. Ethnic expressions in metal are like vegetarian steaks. They do not belong. The band's music is good, bad or average depending on the song. The album opens well, but a track like Satanik Statement On Good And Evil is a waste given how it is essentially a collection of noises. The band is fundamentally uneven even if it largely takes its own independent path. The problem of too much style, given the amount of substance, also hits the vocalist who occasionally comes across as affected. Having said that, closer attention to the lyrics sometime explains the singer's plan. Non Opus Dei should maintain its heartfelt devotion, but take care to add more music of the kind that makes the sub-genre proud next time. - Ali "The Metallian"