Valis is the first proper Mastery full-length and the most extreme record The Flenser has ever released. As its name and sigil demands, Mastery is a vessel to ascend the partial mind; one impulsive and chaotic, the other of collected illumination. A meditation unto the will subconscious. The solo black metal entity is the product of mastermind Ephemeral Domignostika (Pale Chalice, Pandiscordian Necrogenesis, Horn of Dagoth). Once a follower in the tradition of fellow Bay Area acts Leviathan, Crebain and Weakling, Mastery has evolved into something more. Valis is like a form of free jazz black metal—twisted and complex, with upwards of 100 riffs per song. Eschewing traditional songwriting and conceptual forms, Domignostika creates through spontaneous composition, cut ups and free performance. His extremely unique guitar style, polyrhythmic drum patterns and urgent vocal delivery bely the fact that Valis is the work of one person playing everything with the utmost intentionality. Mastery has previously released five extremely limited (and long sold out) demos since 2004, a collection on the tUMULt label in 2011 titled Barbaric Usurpation of the Hypereonic Black Metal Throne, and split albums with with Skullflower and Palace of Worms.
“One can only assume that Mastery mastermind Ephemeral Domignostika is an extremely dangerous career sociopath after being subjected to this spastic sonic evisceration; either that or a deeply disturbed black metal savant.” —That’s How Kids Die
“Mastery is total berzerker black metal, rooted in the tradition of true grim blackness, but filtered through Mastery’s cracked perception, transforming this into something beyond true; a droned out and damaged, outsider blackness, that sounds pretty much unlike almost any other black metal.” —Aquarius