Album Review: The Infernal Sea – Negotium Crucis (Apocalyptic Witchcraft)

From the Fenlands of East Anglia in the UK comes The Infernal Sea. The black metallers draw influences from the founding fathers of dark scene while firmly imprinting their own unique plague-ridden UKBM stamp. With British Bravado they inject their Black ‘n’ Roll groove into their savage riffage to create something truly diabolical.

The new album ‘Negotium Crucis’ (released 18/09/20 via Apocalyptic Witchcraft), expands on the bands concept of medieval brutality as presented on 2016’s ‘The Great Mortality’, an album that focused on the black death that swept across the UK and Europe from 1348 and the horrors that man inflicted upon one another as a result.

Lyrically returning to the Middle Ages to explore the dark nature of the Knights Templar and their Holy Crusades. The album aggressively forewarns of tales of depravity, corruption, deceit, genocide and re-affirms the sadistic nature of mankind.

With a hefty amount of expectation following 2016’s The Great Mortality, The Infernal Sea make their return at a time when a pandemic is causing worldwide chaos. Fitting, considering what the previous album was themed around.

Although, Negotium Crucis takes a different approach (Knights Templar, The Crusades), it’s still rooted in the rot and horror of humanities evil deeds. Evil that erupts from the very start with the intense black metal sore that is Destruction of Shum. A wild and furious Infernal Sea, they’re focused on delivering a slab of old-school bleakness with a touch of their trademark ‘rockier’ riffing thrown in to make it truly an opening to behold.

There’s no ‘foot off the gas’ following that as the cacophony of noise created by the drums and guitars make Befallen Order an absolute belter. While it gets more rhythmic as it goes on (they even throw in a guitar solo), it never loses the fire.

Although they certainly turn the flame down a touch for the slower but twisted drawl of Gods Will It. The vocals, already having made their mark, reach ear-splitting levels of howling horror though. Field of the Burned brings the tempo back up and down, yet is smothered in savage darkness and monumental bleakness. The Infernal Sea turning pain and suffering into something musically memorable.

Barely missing a beat and showing just how far they’ve come over their 10-year lifespan, Devoid of Fear and the following title track are everything that is loved about The Infernal Sea. On the one hand, utterly thrilling black metal brutality wrapped up with aggressive riffing. On the other, grandiose without resorting to symphonic/orchestral elements to make it so. It’s a pairing (the latter more so) that has the band throw everything in and the end result is truly marvellous.

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It’s not done yet though… not even close. As Unholy Crusade rings out, the instruments kicking into something that can be called delectably evil sounding. Rex Mundi building up the horror as only the best of black metal can do before unleashing a torrent of ferocity spread out across an epic 7+ minutes. Before Into the Unknown wraps up The Infernal Sea’s latest offering proving this album to be every bit the bloody conquest they set it out to be.

The best album the Brits have released so far? The argument is there and it’s strong.

The Infernal Sea – Negotium Crucis Full Track Listing:

1. Destruction of Shum
2. Befallen Order
3. God Wills It
4. Field of the Burned
5. Devoid of Fear
6. Negotium Crucis
7. Unholy Crusade
8. Rex Mundi
9. Into The Unknown




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The Infernal Sea - Negotium Crucis (Apocalyptic Witchcraft)
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