Filii Nigrantium Infernalium began at the end of the eighties under the name Bactherion. They were heavily influenced by bands such as Hellhammer and Necro Schizma. After changing their name to the latin denomination of children of the infernal darkness they released the demo “Os Métodos do Pentagrama”, which was widely distributed within the then growing Black Metal Underground. The Mini CD that followed, “A Era do Abutre”, embraced their Heavy Metal influences, and was much of a Black Heavy hybrid. Entering a lethargic deathlike sleep, they returned from the darkness in 2002 with an EP that foreran their long elusive debut album, which was to be released in 2005 with the name “Fellatrix Discordia Pantokrator”. Releases and performances went on in an erratic way, including a second album, “Pornokrates: Deo Gratias”, in 2013. A new full-length has now been recorded and it marks a return to aggressive and unpolished blasphemy. Soon its release shall be announced. In the name of the Blackest Heavy Metal.
It’s almost unbelievable to think of everything that happened in the twenty years that already went by since I first heard of the music of Filii Nigrantium Infernalium and decided I had to put up a show for them in a little town where nobody else, expect five other maniacs, could give a flying fuck about heavy metal, much else black metal. Since them metal, through words, turned to be my chosen way of life and Filii Nigrantium Infernalium achieved a cult status that not a lot of Portuguese bands can claim for themselves. I can’t remember the exact year anymore, but during the turn from the 80s to the 90s I got a flyer of radio show in the mail. It was done by someone I’d never heard about ou meet before, but lived only half an hour from my town. Even though it aired in a small local station and at Friday night, I was able to pick it on my stereo and didn’t had much else to do on Friday nights, to be honest. Magic happened. Empacto, a clever play on words by the mighty Kepler, a major player in the Portuguese underground boom of the early 90s, turned into my gateway to the underground scene. The dude played songs mostly from compilation tapes, demos and 7” singles, at a time when recording an album (CD or vinyl, take your pick) was still a seal of quality, and exposed my young – still easy to impress and not so jaded, I must admit – soul to a whole new world of possibilities. When provided I tried to write down all contacts to get a hold of new material and, through a letter, manage to get in touch with Pedro Cruz to get a copy of a compilation «Blest By Sekmet». It was basically a show down of output from new and upcoming Portuguese bands and one of them stuck out as a thorn in the eyes of god. Bactherion they were called, two songs were at the end of one of the tapes’ side. You have to remember that by then thrash was out and death metal was the big thing, but this guys were something else. A totally different beast, dark as fuck, force-fed through the mouth with massive doses of Venom, Bathory, Hellhammer and weirdos Necroshizma.
No need to say I was hooked to that mix of dark sounds and occult ways so when Cruz told me he was about to release «Os Métodos do Pentagrama», the first recording of Bactherion by then turned Filii Nigrantium Infernalium, I think I payed for a copy before it was even out. It was funny, because I got that tape from a package straight through the hands of my dad – I don’t think he would ever hand it over if he knew what was inside. It’s even funnier, because my music buying vice fueled by Pedro Cruz, by that time already at the helm of Dark Records, went through my father to avoid mail expenses. I would phone Cruz, he would tell me what he got for his distro on the last couple of weeks and I would pick from his descriptions of the bands. He would them hand the stuff to my father, which happened to be working at the city Cruz lived him. Now, looking back, most of the time it was hit and miss, there was also a lot of shit being released on tapes and singles back then, but «Os Métodos do Pentagrama» blew me away from the go. It was a progression/regression from the tracks on «The Miracle of Death» demo I was already familiar with, revealing the nasty shriek of Belathauzer in all its’ glory, adding more complex and bizarre structures and sounds, like a eerie Spanish flute, and introducing one of the most extreme and blasphemous images I had ever seem. I may have been easy to impress, but this was indeed impressive. I spent hours studying that glossy cover, the backwards writing, the pro-printed cassette playing on the stereo, while I lit candles to set of the mood and dreamt of painting the walls pitch black. Totally sucked in to that world, almost obsessed with everything dark and oppressive, I couldn’t believe when I got the news the trio was about to play their first live show ever. It was happening in Lisbon and I wasn’t living there yet, but I couldn’t miss it by any means. I then proceed to convince my only metal pal who had a driving license to make the trip to check out death metallers Necrophiliac, who were headlining this mini-festival but I couldn’t care less about. The day came, we made the trip without incident and got there with plenty of time to drink some beers before Filii Nigrantium Infernalium, the first of several Portuguese bands chosen to “open” for the Spaniards, took the stage by storm.
What went on on the following half an hour or so, it must have been around that, was something else. Something totally out of the ordinary in a scene a bit too bland for their own sake, which made me decide on the spot I had to get the band to play the festival I was then working on in my little uninterested town. I don’t think I had the guts to talk with Belathauzer that night, but Cruz put in a word for me and we got it going from there. What’s even stranger is that I only recall a phone call to set up things for the show, during which we talked about “satanic skinheads” and the bands’ main man requested blood and some money to buy stuff they needed for the show. I got the blood, one liter of it, from a butcher shop on the day prior to the show – pretty painless by the way. They brought the black candles, the corpse-paint, two fire-breathing backing vocalists (Langsuyar of Moonspell and J.M. Of Decayed), one percussionist (Nisroth of Moonspell) and a session bass player (Mantus, also of Moonspell at the time, current guitarist on Filii Nigrantium Infernalium). It was some kind of Frankenstein creation, made up of some pivotal musicians of the Portuguese black metal triad of the 90s. Except nobody, or almost nobody, gave a fuck about it. Even the band seemed to not care less, they were more than late getting to the venue and couldn’t even do a proper sound check. I guess the sound wasn’t perfect, but that wasn’t important either. Back then Belathauzer was already the focal point, in full regalia which included nails big enough to make Kerry King blush – “drinking” blood from a chalice, cursing and screaming his Portuguese lyrics like a satanic sex maniac. Mantus already had cut himself beforehand and bleed through the stage. Langsuyar and J.M., who had previously set his hair on fire by accident on the debut gig, almost burnt the place down through their fire breathing routine and proceed doing it after the show, this time outside the venue before they were stopped by a couple of cops. Musically wise the performance was primitive as hell, but the truth is that they impressed everyone who was there and turned out to be the highlight of another “festival” that never had a second edition.
José Miguel Rodrigues
Editor-in-chief, LOUD! Magazine
Official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FiliiNigrantiumInfernalium/
Official Bandcamp page: https://filiinigrantiuminfernalium.bandcamp.com/