By now, IRAE should require little introduction. Since the dawn of this cursed millennium, mainman Vulturius has prolifically pursued a singular vision of RAW BLACK METAL that includes five full-lengths and countless split releases with likeminded comrades. As such, IRAE have almost singlehandedly invigorated Portugal’s black metal scene, particularly the rawer iteration of it. And since the band’s blood pact with SIGNAL REX deepened in 2020 with the release of the landmark Lurking in the Depths LP last summer and followed the next year with the EPs Korona Winter Rehearsal of Darkness & Evil and Dangerovs Magick Zpells from the Mesziah of Death and a split LP with comrades ORDEM SATÂNICA and WØMB most recently, there’s no sign of IRAE’s black flame being extinguished anytime soon.
Of course, the black flame has been burning brightly since the very beginning, and 20 years after the cult’s formation, IRAE present a special anniversary album titled Assim na Terra como no Inferno. Featuring seven exclusive songs across 40 minutes, Assim na Terra como no Inferno is both new and old: the ancient spirit revitalized in the putrid present, archaic energies reignited with a passion that simply refuses to relent – and, amazingly, only gets better with time. Truly, it is some strange magick that IRAE manages to sound more vital than ever, both embodying the post-millennial Portuguese sound and pushing it to greater, more deranged lengths with that unquenchable flame. Utterly haunting and harrowing whilst exhibiting some of Vulturius’ most nuanced songwriting to date, Assim na Terra como no Inferno is as grim and splendorous as it gets. Those who were immersed in the black metal underground in the mid ’90s will find these sounds nostalgic; newcomers will thrill to the taboo sensations those sounds arouse. The past is truly alive…
As Vulturius explains, “It was in the fall of 2002, with experience brought from other bands and projects, the ideas that have followed me since ’95/’96 flow and quickly turn into lyrics, titles, and songs, when I wrote and immediately recorded it on tape in my room, the first four songs by IRAE, which turned out to be the first demo Spreading the Wrath of Satan. I went through all the processes since a young age listening to rock and heavy metal on music videos and tapes to thrash metal, some death metal, until I heard those dark rumors and listened to the first black metal records from the second wave of black metal. It touched me instantly and became a purpose and something that I wanted to follow as a fan, as a musician. Now, after 20 years, I’m still doing it with the same devotion as ever. As time goes by, I thought about something special for this celebration, and nothing is better than a record with new songs glorifying and honoring the dark past of black metal, back when it was dangerous, magical, mystical, and exciting like in the mid ’90s era. Therefore, honoring those times, here’s my take, about what I’ve been following since.” Long may IRAE reign!