30 Apr 2021 - Knut
Atmospheric Black Metal | Release date: 11 Apr 2021
Once more into the void with Mesarthim
In 2015, the Australians Mesarthim took listeners into deep space with their debut release Isolate, and somehow reinvented ambient black metal music, or one might call it cosmic black metal.
The foundations for this kind of music might have been laid by bands like Arcturus and Darkspace, but Mesarthim’s range is also wider as they pull heavily from 70’s German electronica giants like Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream.
And now the two individuals behind the band, they just call themselves . and ., once more lift us into deep space with their 14th release Vacuum Solution. They stay true to their formula, but they never stop developing this music as they pour out melodies using heavy ambient guitars, soaring synths, harsh black metal vocals and hardhitting rhythms. And at the same time, the music kind of have a soft sound.
The album starts out with the title track, ”Vacuum Solution”. The first seconds sound like mid 70’s electronica before the guitars hit us and catapult us into darkened ambient metal with singing synths in the background. And then the familiar soaring, growling vocal comes out in full force. This track has a haunting velocity powered by the rhythm section and the synths behind the heavy ambient guitar.
The second track, ”Matter and Energy”, immediately starts out with vocals over blasting guitars. In the beginning the synths are not very prominent, just drums and guitar flowing. Then comes a shift to some lighter tones, and the synths step out on their own to play a more prominent role. It is just amazing how the melody on this track grabs you and holds your attention as it is spiraling with energy.
The track, ”Heliocentric Orbit”, follows with more hard hitting athmospheric metal from both the rhythm section and the synths. The mood of the song shifts again and again and challenges the listener in more than one way until it flows into its own ambience and soundscape and fades away orbiting the Sun.
The fourth track, ”A Manipulation by Numbers”, starts out like it could be an Emerson, Lake and Palmer song, but quickly changes into the familiar soundscape that this band has crafted so well. Then everything stops and the growling vocals hover alone in a black hole with the synths before the guitars hit again and eventually lead us into a soaring guitar solo that have the reminiscence of power ballads from the 80s (meant in a good way). The music makes an abrupt stop, start up and then fade away in what might be a wormhole.
The final track takes the title of their 2016 album, ”.- -… … . -. -.-. .”. It is filled with the absence of guitar and rhythm section, here the synthesizers are alone in space. In the end it disappears into nothing, just like the strings in the end of Gustav Mahler´s 9th symphony. He did not live long enough to make another full symphony, but Mesarthim will for sure give us more music that takes us into the void for the years to come.