Crimson Moon “Mors Vincit Omnia”

Ars Moriendi

I made a promise to myself that I will write a review about this record, although is not new material anymore. I did this because this record finds its place in my top ten releases for 2019. Too much music is released and there is not enough time or space to cover it all. Some publicists fraud the system, generating artificial hype for their artists. A sort of uniformity in year-end lists affects those charts, making them subjective.

Primitive Black Metal rhythms immersed in what some might say an excess of riffs and atmospheric devices, crude tones and archaic ambience-are few of the keynotes of this full-length. 

Hailing from the vast lands of Germany, originally established in California, USA,  Black Metal band Crimson Moon has accomplished a lot since it’s starting in 1994. Comprised of mastermind Scorpios Androctonus (Possession Ritual, Sabnack, Akrabu, Behind Your Fear) guitarists  Agreas (Carn Dûm) and Sabnoc, drums: Blastum (Aosoth, Antaeus), the group looking to worship to the old metal gods and seeks to revive old tones, adding inspiration and personality. Their first two LPs—1996’s “To Embrace the Vampyric Blood” and 2005’s “Under the Serpentine Spell”—were highly immersive, tasteful, and brutal sequences that earned comparisons to Nightbringer and Demonic Christ.

Despite being around since 1994 and having released four excellent full-lengths and a number of solid EPs and splits, they have managed to evade the deaf ears of metal judges. Which is a shame, considering their intriguing music is as stylistically diverse as it is coherent in its composition. Luckily, “Mors Vincit Omnia” (Death conquers all) offers a new portal to explore Crimson Moon’s occult world. 

Following up their 2016 well-received album “Oneironaut”, “Mors Vincit Omnia”  is an exercise in extreme Black Metal, featuring tremolo melodies, furious drumming, bass grooves, varying vocals, and symphonic overtones. It embodies a unique style, feeling remarkably warm in its production and occult in its execution, but bringing a distinctly darker mood than its predecessor. It also adds a few tricks of its own, such as obscure lyrics and outstanding melodies.

The seven-minute opening track is a perfect representation of what to expect. After filling your ears with raw and unrelenting pace, the full force of “Mors Vincit Omnia” is unleashed. The guitars kick up a pace that the bass and drums succeed to maintain. 

The album is beautifully atmospheric, with layered synths and keys both delicately evocative, and the tortured and howls of its creator again act almost like an additional instrument. Complex riffing and keyboard breaks, complicate drum patterns and will for musical experimentation are all present here. Feeling darker and more direct than its predecessor, mixed with dark, religious echoes throughout its eight-track length, Mors Vincit Omnia is a haunting concept.

Crimson Moon tackles philosophical principles (Vanitas, Tempus Fugit, Mors Vincit Omnia) as well as ancient archetypes with this set of songs, including the female personifications of destiny who directed the lives (and deaths) of humans and gods- “Parcae”, and the Angel of Death in Islam-“Azrael”.

Each piece of Mors Vincit Omnia feels distinct but ultimately connected. 

Each movement is held together by its fast melodies and overwhelmingly viscous riffs, suggesting majestic proportions, while lyrics detail a journey into the occult and ancient universe and phenomenological transcendence.

For me, the songs “Altars of Azrael” and “Upon A Pale Horse” marks the album’s centrepiece and a genuine raison d’être. 

The remaining seven songs adopt a similar formula, varying the amount of each style in the mixture.

“Funeral Begotten” compact the band’s sound as chants turn into growls and things get straight forward. The third song, “Godspeed Angel of Death” feature as guests Proscriptor (Absu) and Lord Angelslayer (Archgoat).

Melodies are crowned with uncompromising riffs and spread in multiple directions like the merciless quicksilver movements. There are moments of beauty in these compositions: tempo changes, galloping rhythms, and alternating growled and clean vocals, all of them leading into harmonically crescendos.

Guest vocalists on the album include Proscriptor (ABSU), Lord Angelslayer (ARCHGOAT), Ixithra (DEMONCY) and Phaesphoros (KAWIR). 

Regardless of criticism and opinions, Mors Vincit Omnia is another great achievement in the band’s catalogue. This has achieved well-deserved cult status but not as much as needed to place it next to “Filosofem” for example. It is an underground gem for those willing to spend time and attention tracking it.

HERE is an interview with Scorpios Androctonus, the voice of Crimson Moon.

Crimson Moon BANDCAMP.


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