When Parfaxitas’ “Thou Shalt Worship No Other” dropped in 2023 on the sampler TERRATUR COMPENDIUM MMXXIII, I rightly decided that the band ranked among the most promising emerging acts, though it didn’t take a seer to come to that painfully obvious conclusion. This sublime track offered listeners their very first glimpse into the wonderful and perilous universe of Parfaxitas. Here we are, over a year later, and “Thou Shalt Worship No Other” appears as the penultimate composition on Weaver of the Black Moon. Somehow, beyond reason and possibility, Weaver of the Black Moon has managed to exceed my incredibly high expectations, proving that Parfaxitas are in a league of their own. Verily, I cannot sing the praises of the album at hand enough. Weaver of the Black Moon forces listeners to tremble before the altar of sonic excellence that Parfaxitas has constructed.

Parfaxitas was founded by Minnesota’s Azlum/Nero of Oculus, Merihem, and Manetheren. Azlum plays guitars on the record. He is joined by his spiritual brothers, who clearly perfectly grasped his vision: Whoredom Rife and ex-Bloodthorn’s K.R on vocals, Sinmara and Slidhr’s B.Einarsson on drums, and finally YhA from Suffering Hour and Merihem on bass. These three musicians hail from Norway, Iceland, and the U.S. respectively. In addition, Norway’s Brage Kråbøl contributes some guest vocals. His bands include Misotheist; Enevelde; like K.R, the emerging group Diabolus, Mecum Semperterne!; and the family project Kråbøl. By design, Kråbøl’s debut album, Never, and Whoredom Rife’s Den Vrede Makt share the May 31 release date for physical copies with Weaver of the Black Moon. Unleashing three such dazzling, lethal curses on the same day seems a truly absurd decision indeed. However, we can only assume that the superior Trondheim-based label Terratur Possessions aimed to orchestrate an explosion from which audiences could never recover with this Unholy Trinity of interrelated marvels.

Back to Weaver of the Black Moon itself: Azlum’s guitars mesmerize and transport listeners beyond the realm of the living. The architect of this divine offering, Azlum has crafted compositions that are absolutely magnificent. Beautiful yet brutal, Weaver of the Black Moon smothers listeners with its inescapable darkness. What Azlum delivers is black metal as it should sound in an ideal world. Weaver of the Black Moon is nostalgic, bringing the best of the ’90s. Yet, Parfaxitas has also clearly forged their own sound, which drags listeners deep into the heart of what feels like a fever dream, or rather a vivid spiritual journey. Yes, the music presents unshakably uncanny atmospheres that allure and provide a reunion with that which was perhaps only experienced in another lifetime. This novel sense of strangeness increases the magnetism and potency of this effort. Meanwhile, seductive melodies and ethereal charm further strengthen the effectiveness of Weaver of the Black Moon’s dark magic.

From moment one, “Breath of the Thoughtless Light” sweeps in like a gust of all too fresh air for Satanic souls in search of artistic truth. “Ravens of Dispersion” demonstrates Parfaxitas’ ability to flawlessly balance unsettling and soothing aspects. This scorcher sucks us into its vortex, laying the groundwork for a terribly frightening and dizzying encounter with the unknown. The finale, “Sea of Blood/Fields of Nightmares,” boasts an absolutely breathtaking intro and stands as a must-hear for everyone. Throughout the album, B.Einarsson immensely enhances the haunting soundscapes with his stellar musicianship. He supplies exactly the type of performance that I love. His percussion gives the feeling of shattering glass, imparting the impression of collapse after collapse. Meanwhile, YhA proves equally magnificent on bass.

The revered K.R gives a top-top-notch performance on vocals. His dramatic delivery is accented by gasps, howls, and shrieks. He seamlessly pulls off the kind of agonized cries that usually become contrived in the mouths of others. From beginning to end, K.R’s raw and aggressive yet masterful contributions are utterly authentic and leave us wondering how he was able to maintain such a punishing level of intensity. It is impossible to listen to Weaver of the Black Moon without thinking that, as stated earlier, he is definitely one of the genre’s greatest frontmen. Credit, however, is owed to Azlum for creating a musical environment and lyrics that allow for K.R’s assets to shine in this way. Of course, we likewise salute Brage for the brilliance he also brings to the table. Again, he is featured here in the capacity of a guest vocalist. Brage happens to be yet another one of the leading artists in the genre, so his participation is a major bonus. Brage and K.R work perfectly in unison, causing the already sinister soundscape to truly overflow with wickedness.

Weaver of the Black Moon amounts to a totally cohesive masterpiece. After having experienced it many times in order to process the greatness of the giants involved, it feels obligatory to comment on the fact that, due to the scarcity of legitimate black metal talents these days, it has almost become a necessity for the chosen few across the globe to wind up collaborating. As one can already deduce from my words, that’s exactly what happened here. Azlum has teamed up with the best from around the world in his other projects as well. For example, we selected Italy’s Thorns, Azlum’s brother in Manetheren, as one of the best black metal drummers. Another interesting point to note is that, despite Parfaxitas’ international lineup, Weaver of the Black Moon sounds like a product of Trondheim, which is regarded by experts as the current capital of black metal. I can usually detect in an instant if something hasn’t been recorded on Norwegian soil. Of course, there are superb bands that aren’t from Norway, but most of us can objectively agree that the country has produced the greatest number of quality acts. In conclusion, Weaver of the Black Moon is an album that has rightly already, and will continue to elicit, fervent praise from even the most hateful and misanthropic elitists.

(Order Weaver of the Black Moon here.)