Tome of the Unreplenished – Innerstanding

And now for something totally esoteric.  Different?  Entry-level terminology for the uninitiated.  This is different, it’s been fashioned from the most ancient of hands, a soul so old it defies the beginnings of the human race.  We kind of needed a good bit of that.  We’ve had classic black metal recently, some of the Satanic, and we don’t mind that, but now and again we want to think on the deeper meaning of darkness.  We want to get past all of that typical stuff, good though it can be, and delve into things so mysterious the word mystery scarcely begins to pick away at the fossilized surface of what we behold.  So today we will enter a most ancient of repositories of knowledge, where crowded, makeshift shelves constructed from the lids of coffins creates rows upon rows of texts, infant-skin-bound volumes of forgotten beliefs, and spells inscribed upon the skulls of extinct sea creatures.  Come, let us delve further into these dusty, cobwebbed rows to understand all that is the Tome of the Unreplenished, where we today shall go from understanding to Innerstanding.


Clever?  No, we are mere supplicants.  Tome of the Unreplenshed comes from Cyprus, an ancient realm if there ever was one, with hunter-gathering culture present at least 10,000 years ago (hint, probably some pagan stuff going on there), and he’s done work with Necrosadist in the past, so Greek black metal is kind of his thing.  But instead of the raw, the forceful, the Satanic, he’s most interested, at least here with this release, with the atmospheric.  No, that word is too petty, it is better to say with the arcane.  No shoegazers are permitted here, this is for the forgotten pagan and occultist in you.  The artwork should have given you that indication, but if it wasn’t enough, delve further, and further, and further…


Innerstanding is black metal Trappism.  There is no discussion of the inner-workings here, only contemplation which strips your body down to living bone.  This hefty tome opens with a gargantuan thud upon an oaken table hewn from raw wood, dust flows into the air, into your nostrils, and you breathe deeply of the lore.  Seriously, take a second and listen.  The first track “Anima Mundi” relates to the assumed, intrinsic connection between all living things.  Once your being is in tune, Tome of the Unreplenished then takes you into constellations, essence, and then you transcend to your final, never-ending march as you become one with the equinoxes.  Get it?  The beauty of Innerstanding is it takes the classic black metal sound and makes it unbelievably philosophical, with a particular focus on metaphysics.  And we seriously mean that, because a hell of a lot of thought went into the creation of this.  Each song is a pathway into another idea, and then it comes full circle by the end, accomplished through hypnotic cymbal hits and steady drumming like some sort of involuntary mantra.  The vocals are bizarre, nothing more than ghostly whispers in this ancient library we have entered, occasional moans with a wealth of meaning should you take the time to read through the lyrics.  Beautiful riff sweeps and solos eventually lead to the magnum opus of the album, “The Precessional March”, which is simply the end-all of continuity.  Really splendid, on the surface some listeners may find it unusual, but it’s one that really requires further contemplation to grasp and then you’ll reach epiphany.


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Written by Stanley Stepanic

Tome of the Unreplenished: Innerstanding
I, Voidhanger Records
4.6 / 5