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Ætheria Conscientia – Corrupted Pillars of Vanity

Ætheria Conscientia – Corrupted Pillars of Vanity


  • Rating: 8/10
  • Release Date: 09 April, 2021
  • Label: Self Release
  • Musicians:
    Alexis Pascal: Bass, Atmospheres
    Paul Breheret: Drum Programming, Percussions, Vocals, Lyrics
    P.A. Cantat: Guitars, Atmospheres
    Tristan Brachi: Guitars, Vocals, Lyrics

    Simon Chatteleyn: Saxophone, Vocals, Percussions, Lyrics on all tracks
    Andrii Pechatkin (White Ward): Vocals on Asporhos’ Altering Odyssey
    Dima Dudko (White Ward): Alto Saxophone on Elevation in Arrogance
  • Favorite songs:
    Asporhos’ Altering Odyssey, Liturgy For The Ekzunreh
  • For Fans of:
    Rivers of Nihil, Shining, Dimmu Borgir

Can Black Metal ever be described as refined? Well, if you cite your influences as Voivod, Mare Cognitum, Wolves in the Throne Room, Oranssi Pazuzu, Blut Aus Nord, Intronaut, Rush, Nero Di Marte, Aluk Todolo, Neurosis, King Crimson, Magma and John Coltrane, I guess that your music stands a good chance of achieving a dose of sophistication.

With their second album, French band Ætheria Conscienta have managed to combine the venom of Black Metal with the relaxing sound of saxophone along with many other styles and moods. “Corrupted Pillars of Vanity” is a science fiction story made up of five tracks, all over seven minutes long. You could be forgiven at times, for thinking that it’s not really anything like Black Metal, but then here they come, blasting back in, reminding you that they truly are.

The first track is the longest on the album at over 15 minutes in length. ‘Asporhos’ Altering Odyssey’ is the start of an evolution from the band’s first album, ‘Tales from Hydhradh’. Within itself, it has five parts, each with its own style and tells of the terra-formation and colonisation of a planet.

‘The Corrupted Sacrament’ is shorter by half and seems at first, to be angrier. Short intervals of saxophones – yes, they are plural – there are normal sax and alto saxophone, act to soften the mood. This bit of the story is aeons later where society on the planet has been established and a few of the original travellers are woken from stasis to introduce new genetic materials to the population.


‘Liturgy of the Ekzunreh’ is a re-transcription of the cult’s ritual (for it is now apparent that we are talking about a religious cult here), sung in the Hydhradhian language. Has the band invented a new language? It will be interesting to see the lyrics on this one as it’s not possible to tell what is being sung.

The final two tracks go together to make one, called ‘Absurd Crusade’ which is almost 25 minutes in length. The first part is ‘Elevation in Arrogance’, and again there is a connection to the first album. To really get into the complete story it is probably necessary to be familiar with that earlier release. In this part, a renegade forms his own cult and gathers followers who then go up against the Kholoss.


Ætheria Conscientia – Elevation in Arrogance (click here if the video does not play)

The final track, and second part of ‘Absurd Crusade’ is ‘Collapse in Penance’. Here the story concludes with the insurgency failing after coming face to face with the Ancient Kholoss. As with most of the album, there’s a pleasing, if unusual, mix of black metal and the sound of brass wind instruments. Sometimes these things work, like salted caramel, it sounds like it should not, but it just does, and the result is surprisingly good.

This is another great release coming out of France, aggressive and melodic in equal measures. It’s atmospheric and intriguing. I would suggest this isn’t a typical black metal offering, but it is a very welcome one. The digital version is available on Bandcamp for a pre-order giveaway price, along with other formats.


  1. Asporhos’ Altering Odyssey
  2. The Corrupted Sacrament
  3. Liturgy For The Ekzunreh
  4. Absurd Crusade Part I: Elevation In Arrogance
  5. Absurd Crusade Part II: Collapse In Penance

About the Author


I’m Bob, I hail from Robin Hood country (Nottinghamshire) in the UK. Rock and Metal music has played a big part in my life for many years. From playing guitar in local bands, to attending dozens of Festivals and countless concerts. I have been taking photos at gigs (whenever possible) for a number of years now, and as the camera gear has got better so have the photos. I continue to seek out new Bands and tend to prefer the more technical and heavy stuff these days. I live with my wife Sarah, who fortunately likes the heavy bands as well, and our cats who have to listen to it, whether they like it or not. Apart from gigs and photography (not just concerts) I also enjoy hill walking, films and discovering new beers (and drinking them).

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