Somewhere on the fringes of nearly every genre there are projects that seem to exist solely for the artist rather than for the potential listener, it’s fair to say that outside of most mainstream music this argument is applicable — yet even on the edges of niche genres there are fringe artists, people creating their art for their own agenda; projects like Captain Beefheart, Diamanda Galas, Merzbow and the band in question, Sektarism fall into this category. This is not to say that those acts will not find fame and appreciation amongst a wider audience but more that they’re just not for everyone, it’s almost hard to recommend artists like this because oftentimes there isn’t a lot to compare them to, yes there are markers on the road to where they are but they exist beyond the boundaries of their closest relatives.
Sektarism fall deftly into this category, I wouldn't expect a large number of people to enjoy it but there is something great happening here. The tracks feel full of purpose, a true artistic expression in the way it defies the culturally accepted norm of 'music', the opening track ‘Oderint Dum Metuant’ is devoid of the indicators by which most judge music, there is no real melody and its rhythm is hardly melodic so much as it is ritualistic. Ultimately the tunes aren’t so much enjoyable as they are an experience, listening to "Fils De Dieu" I'm left pondering the motivation behind the album.
Dehn Sora artwork
If this all sounds a bit too pretentious and artsy, you may be right but all art is vanity to some degree and when listening to all of Sektarism’s releases I often get the feeling I am an outsider looking in; although I can listen and appreciate what is happening I can't help but feel that I've been privy to witnessing some arcane ritual of a secret society, whilst I can watch through a window and see what is happening, it is only the practitioners who know the true will and intent of the project.
"File De Dieu" possesses two tracks; one less than their previous two releases. The album's opener "Oderint Dum Metuant" recalls earlier songs by this French outfit, a long, drawn-out movement, inhabited by jangling chains and howled vocals, the opening of a ritual. The counter piece Sacrifice is the closest example of 'music' as thick droning guitars reverberate amongst sparse tom beats and more traditional vocals whose closest equivalent may be Sunn O))) yet still starkly different.
End All Life/NoEvDia continues to be a label dedicated to pushing the boundaries of extreme music that is infused with dark occult themes and whilst Sektarism might not be for everyone it is an undeniably powerful work.
Reviewed by Dan Thaumitan