One of the forerunners of the currently thriving Portuguese black metal scene, ONIRIK will release its long-awaited fourth album, Casket Dream Veneration, as a split release between ALTARE PRODUCTIONS and IRON BONEHEAD PRODUCTIONS. ONIRIK's first recordings in six years, Casket Dream Veneration represents a rebirth for mainman Gonius Rex. Long gone are the days of unapologetically raw production, sloppy performance, and mostly improvised songwriting. Instead, the characteristically wandering textures are thoroughly composed, dotted with detail and simmering, subtle nuance; joined by Soul Reaper on drums and The Heretic on bass, Gonius Rex leads a confident, compact performance, each player possessed and attuned to vibrations from beyond; and the production itself emits the foul stench of the crypt, but in rich, vivid tones that are as full-bodied as they come, and daresay even more than a bit "professional." Indeed, Casket Dream Veneration is a trawl through the crypt, nameless and ancient, out of time eternal, heaving and breathing a medieval melancholy that gives way to utter madness. It is reverent of ageless black metal tradition, yet not shackled to tired tropes or meaningless reiteration; it makes no concessions to be anything more than a black metal record, but stresses the importance of its content regardless of how it is labelled. Simply, Casket Dream Veneration is every bit of its title, and Onirik is the guide through these catacombs of the mind, soul, and spirit.
As Gonius Rex explains, "This is an eight-song album, and its concept is truly related to this ONIRIK rebirth. Here, I assume my devotion and sing about the relations between my earthly being and the dreams that intoxicate my views. I observe the past and present and conjure the essential perceptions that led me to understand and pursue the fall, the separation between herd and free thinking. This album deals with a figurative Lucifer and the representation of an utter dark genesis that seems to regulate the whole spectre of existence, evil, relentless and astray from the concept of a goodwill and just 'god,' this infection that parts the sentiment of true immersion and beguiles the senses that should lead us through light and darkness when our real essence is the flame. This album is an offering. It serves as a key and my own entrance in the true Hell, where everything is clear, where strength prepares you for subsistence, where you dance with the flames that elaborate, where reality is a dream and dreams are reality. This is an object that guides my passage and prepares me to understand the seizing of this earthly existence - an object that represents everything, and that presents itself everywhere."
Further, he says, "The altar of which I commonly speak in the poetry was thought of in dreams, but as many other dreamlike predictions, it came to life and I was able to perform the initiation ritual in the place I'd written about. It was there, silently waiting for me. The photo session was taken in that place, hidden from the world and surrounded by the smell of death. This strong and fantastic coincidence allowed me to prove that ONIRIK serves the right of elucidation. It allows me to see beyond the common understanding and helps my dreams become reality some time after. This album reeks of anticipation, and as time goes by, it gains even more essence. It is actually like this; when you clear your thoughts and let your inner feelings flow freely, the object of your doing will only reflect your true self and true aspirations. Thus, I am curious to see what this album will tell me in the future. I will hold it dearly in my casket, venerating in dreams the essence that shone a light through this vessel, my body."