Stephen Lockhart is a goddamned genius and a pivotal fixture in the Icelandic black metal scene, namely through three means: his prolific production work at Studio Emissary, his leadership in the world-class Oration and Ascension metal festivals, and arguably his most important though perhaps least-known contribution, his black metal project Rebirth of Nefast. Tabernaculum took nine years to develop, and it shows - this is the work of a devoted perfectionist. Songs are lengthy, meticulously developed, and very dynamic, using black metal as the foundational framework but incorporating ambient and doom elements as each composition requires. Sections of gradually-building ominous tension give way to explosive, all-encompassing sequences that, despite their chaotic fury, never break the trance that this album induces. Rebirth of Nefast proudly stands next to Deathspell Omega and The Ruins of Beverast as part of black metal’s supreme standard bearers, and Tabernaculum is the reason why.
Favorite track: Carrion is a Golden Throne.