Plecto Aliquem Capite translates to “Suffer Capital Punishment,” which is a philosophy they live up to. Plecto’s side begins with another ethnic instrumental number, titled “Lament” (4:14). Their take is a bit different from FIH’s more tribal feel, as they seem to almost go into an almost folk direction.
Next we are treated to “Stoned Guru Ramblings” (6:31), a wild track which takes black metal to the very edge of sanity thanks to some truly ungodly sounds courtesy of the entire band. PAC’s final entry is “Cemetery of the Deep” (4:38). The doom is heavy in this uncompromising and disturbing slab of metal. The return of some of the older, “traditional” instrumentation just adds to the overall haunting feeling of the song.
“Crestfallen: Immolating Shakthi” (8:33) features both Funeral In Heaven and Plecto Aliquem Capite. This collaboration is as extreme an example of Sri Lankan black metal as can be imagined. The vocals alone are enough to make one’s hair stand on end, but it is only part of the story. All the classic black metal elements are in place, and the inclusion of the more traditional music at the tail end of the track wraps things up perfectly.
I’m not sure what I expected to hear on Astral Mantras of Dyslexia, but I know it wasn’t this. Both of these bands are moving the genre of black metal forward in ways I never thought possible. Although the music is different, I am reminded of the first time I heard the classic Roots from Sepultura. While I would never call this “world music” or “world metal” for that matter, the inclusion of the traditional instruments on Astral Mantras definitely raises the bar for everyone.
This is as powerful and as adventurous an album as one is likely to hear this year. But make no mistake, at heart both of these fully embrace the ethos of black metal. Check out the Dunkelheit Produktionen label (based in Germany) for more information on this incredible album.