10 Jun 2022 - Knut
Experimental Industrial Atmospheric Black Metal | Debemur Morti Productions | Release date: 20 May 2022
The 17th release by this impressive band is not exactly sonorous, something we did not expect anyway. But it is resounding and overwhelming in a disorderly seductive way when the cracks in the dense wall of sound uncover structures, themes and choirs in an endless tangled red tunnel. It could have been the soundtrack to the Upside Down world in Stranger Things Season 4, but each track is a tip of the hat to a story or to a place in the universe of H.P. Lovecraft. The list of metal related bands that are inspired by Lovecraft´s writings is endless and stretches over decades. It began with Black Sabbath rephrasing the Lovecraft-title Beyond the Wall of Sleep to ”Behind the Wall of Sleep” on their first album.
”Chants Of The Deep Ones” opens the album with echoing sound effects before the music begins to grind with dense guitars, endless depths in the sound effects, a voice resonating in the middle and high raw pitches. The downward spiral is about to start. A dissonant melodic theme is repeated through the track and and the thick snarling sonics embrace the theme accompanied by drums. This in not for the ones faint at heart as the music drags us to the ocean-dwelling race that has a lust for mating with humans. The track ends as it began, with wide reaching sound effects to make you ready for the onslaught of ”Tales Of The Old Dreamer”.
“The Dream Daemon (Ctoggha)” is the mysterious “Great Old One” and the track can be seen as a description of “Dreamlands” as the music is vast and leads us to the land reachable only via dreams, or rather nightmares. The music is undulating and lead by a high-pitched guitar that tries to drag the heavy sonics upwards toward the surface. The tight and wavy soundscape is thrown against unseen walls while the dissonant melodic structures drive the music forward as the guitar tries not to succumb - in vain.
At first listen, and maybe the second and third too, you might think that all tracks on the album are just the same melodic motive repeated with some noise thrown in at random. Some might reject this music as inaccessible. Well, it is not - it just takes time and it is rewarding. If the band´s music were seen upon like that, they would not have an impressive 28 years’ presence in the Black Metal related music scene, releasing 17 full length albums and participating in other projects.
Just dive into the next track, ”Into The Woods”, where you will be met by elongated riffs and echoing clean vocals in the depths of the mighty disturbing sound. It is engaging and a reminder that not everything always has to be comfortable - discomfort can be inspirational. The sonics hold back a bit before being thrown forward. A dystopic section is opened up before the drums take over and drive it further with high velocity.
”Neptune’s Eye” continues the downward dizzying spiraling - the depth is not reached yet. There is a repetitive musical theme that flattens out with an abundance of guitars while a solo guitar is fighting for attention from within the mighty wall of sound. The vocals are snapping, growling and snarling. When you thought it could not get any darker, the track ”That Cannot Be Dreamed” comes along with long spats of heavy guitars with vocalizing deep down in the agony of trepidation.
”Keziah Mason” is a homage to the witch who studied the secrets of inter-dimensional travel. The homage comes in the form of guitars celebrating themselves as they are lifted over the bass-laden sonics with drums driving it forward. The glissando impact, the music purveys, drags you through the scariest visuals of Stranger Things. The vocals are more prominent, but not how we generally are used to, it is a sort of vocalizing. Rays of darkness are beamed into the opaque sound while a high-pitched guitar fights its way to the front only to be devoured by dense dissonant guitar sounds. The end is an elongated crash that leaves behind a choir to finish the desolate music
The album closes with ”The Apotheosis Of The Unnamable” with heavy machinery at work and vocals screaming as the waving sonics progress. It is muted by a dark roar by the gearwheels fighting each other and dark smoke is seeping out before a repetitive high-pitched guitar shows up while the drums are trying to find their way back into the sonics. It gets more violent, darker, scarier and ends by pumping out the rest of the air that was left somewhere within the song.
How to sum up an album like this? We will do it by a few excerpts from Lovecraft himself, lifted from the short story The Music of Erich Zann: “Thereafter I heard Zann every night, and although he kept me awake, I was haunted by the weirdness of his music. Knowing little of the art myself, I was yet certain that none of his harmonies had any relation to music I had heard before; and concluded that he was a composer of highly original genius. (…) The playing grew fantastic, delirious, and hysterical, yet kept to the last the qualities of supreme genius which I knew this strange old man possessed.”