My most treasured record in existence is Spiritual Black Dimensions by Dimmu Borgir and perhaps It would of fared better not have written on it as my first blog post here. My aged words seems quite inadequate given how years of writing has evolved my articulation and expression. One day, when inspired, I will write of it again. The reason I mention this, is because I could use much of that language here, you see Mirrored Hate Painting is essentially a counterpart to SBD. Carpe Tenebrum is the side project of lead guitarist Astennu who illuminated SBD with a darkly rapturous presence heard here once again.
He is joined by Nagash, also of Dimmu Borgir who emulates Shagrath's vocal style wonderfully. A little loose and fragrant at times, he captures the throaty guttural growl in uncanny resemblance. The music too emulates much of the compositional principals too, mixing dark, aggressive guitars with throttling drums, classical dizzying pianos and a lavish helping of bold synth tones, going through all the stark theatrical dynamics. Released the same year, it gives an impression of left over material from their work with Dimmu. The lead guitar solos being the one carbon copy element that rouses equal emotions as they plunder into the night with a soaring sense of epic.
It leaves a question to ponder, does this highlight the influence of Astennu on his band mates? Or did he bring the ideas and leftovers to this effort. I'm sure its a question that will remain unanswered as the records either side of this sophomore project have quite the contrasts in identity. Its own, however, is tarnished somewhat but a less refined production style that could of done with a little more care. The synths are dulled by quietness more often than not. As are the sprawling piano melodies jump in with flashes of jovial color. They find themselves smothered, however if you know what to expect, you'll hear it somewhere in the mix as the sections of music roll out with mirrored ideas from SBD.
And mirrored they are, the tropes play out with all the same techniques, half time beats often giving rise to atmospheric synths and the guitar pinch squeal whammy bar howling plunging us into blast beats and momentous darkness. Mirrored Hate Painting does come with one distinctive tarnish, the inclusion of bizarre audio clippings, down pitched and reverberated in the tackiest of manors, something akin to b-rate 70s horror movies. An English woman talks of satanic coercion, sacrifices and the murder of infants... My only thought are perhaps that the audio is not fictional and that is supposed to hold some merit to the records theme? Because if not, it sounds pretty trashy and runs in contrast to the music the few times it crops up.
I've enjoyed this one immensely, however it cannot compare to my most treasured record. Only in flashes does it show the same level of brilliance. Dimmu forged some fantastic music that felt more purposeful in composition as its lyrics and lead guitars would channel a song to meaningful climaxes. So far I hear the same ideas but not the glue to give the songs a sense of start and end. Perhaps I need more time with it, which It shall get a lot of in the coming months and maybe I will learn more of its magics but for now I am just stoked on finding such an adjacent record.