Cloaked in bright and twisted colours, skulls and a meditating figure comes a twisted perversion of a journey for inner and spiritual peace - and destruction. Rituals for communicating with the spiritual realm, says the j-card, and it further states that "musical instruments were used as ritual tools to make personality sleep and soul to take over." "Chaos Voodoo Magick" is a tape that defies music, humanity and intelligence.

Musically speaking, the debut for both Shia-Ixa and the label Pavitra Kunta Productions presents delirious and ritualistic black metal-like music. "CVM" is comparable to Beherit's "Messe des Morts"-EP due to its experimental lunacy. As a further reference, I heard some moments reminiscent of Barathrum's "Jetblack"-EP and The One's untitled EP as well, and the ritualistic, atmospheric and downright chaotic qualities reminded me (more or less obviously) of Dead Reptile Shrine.

The raw guitar, plump bass and nicely hissing but still sturdy drums pound some simplistic, repetitive, modern and kind-of jamming black metal in the opening number, but the delirious howls that wander over it make it seem something way different than your usual black metal. It has an aura of heat and spiritual movement - an aura of change, growth, metamorphosis. The following tune takes this formula further by executing similarly repetitive and ritualistic music only through a strong drum-beat, some chimes and an acoustic string-instrument that might or might not be a metal-stringed guitar. The echoing and modified howls return in a pack and wander around the acoustic repetition until song three shows a return of the electric instrumentation: faster kind of modern black metal similar to the opening number, but with a deeper feel of losing personality due to the music's and pitch-shifted howls' differences in rhythm.

After the fourth tune's mixture between these acoustic and black metal-styles with howls echoing like they were recorded in a chapel, it's time for the longer finishing number. The repetitive bass bounces onwards through the rather minimalistic piece backed by a layer of guitar distortion, and the whole soundscape is covered with very distorted speaking and growls in a manner that makes the vocal tracks entwine with each other. The song slowly becomes more and more minimalistic towards its end, until just a few drum beats signal the end for this journey of spiritual exploration and alteration.

After travelling through this tape a few times, I'm left wondering how to grade uncontrolled delirium. If you're into black metal, tormenting yourself and challenging your musical perceptions, this tape should serve your needs perfectly. It's a rather heavy and demanding listening experience with a suitable length, and I can't really recommend it to anyone - except to those to whom the tape should recommend itself by its mere existence. Perhaps you can feel it, the darned trixter, taunting you?

When thinking that "Chaos Voodoo Magick" is the collective's debut demo, they've managed to create a truly original and deep experience with a fitting visual side. It's not perfect and I think the acoustic elements could've been taken way further into the realms of less conventional black metal... but we're not talking about music with a deep logic nor any form of sense here. Tasty lunacy that you might want to treat yourself with occasionally, but not too often due to the heavily demanding and challenging atmosphere.

4 / 5