The latest entry in the sequence of psychological thrillers shakes up the approach and leaves us shaking in the dark.
The eerie cold creeps into your bones as Briqueville ply their unsettling craft. The ritualistic Doom-psychedelia of – any given track you land on – erupts into yet another harrowing exploration of the inner space. Scraping synths cut through. A gaggle of darkly worrisome sounds alight onto the collective’s most complex and rich sonic palette to date. The previously conspicuous scarcity of vocals has given over to a zealous cacophony of hypnagogic harmonies. Thus Briqueville adds to its breadth of shamanic menace.
Duplicitous, schizophrenic; a darkness slashed by the rare kiss of the sun. Closer ”AKTE XX”, and longest runner, at this point feeling very much like the triumphant culmination of a four-album cycle that stuns with a captivating sense of dark dynamics in all things Post-Metal, Doom, Sludge and Art Rock. ”AKTE XIX”, grinding feedback over clean chords over wild, ethereal vocal harmonies; a living, breathing head-fuck.
Each cut is more visceral and unhinged than the last. ”AKTE XVIII” harnesses nail-biting tension with angular, scathing rhythms and grinding orchestrations. Something straight out of a psychological thriller. There is something depraved in it, like a Pasolini. Cursed is the art that casts a mirror on the self. It pulses with secret terror. The creeping swing of ”AKTE XVII”, the sludgy drone and lilting sleeze of the synths, the rising tempo. A redoubled density of raw sounds enliven the stakes!
”AKTE XVI” opens with funureal feedback and a pallette of icy sounds that descend an endless dark spiral of repetetive chords punctuated by mad chants and piercing, icy guitar lines. The stunning fourth chapter, IIII holds over the catchy guitar grooves of Quelle, reigns in and harnesses the overt intensity II had coming out of the gate, carrying over the scratchy, creepy noise architecture being refined since the self-titled debut.
Briqueville has always structured their sound as a call and response between varying modes of terse trepidation, hynotic ascension, and the sweet release of guitar-forward, hook-heavy, Stoner-leaning, Proto-Industrial Post Metal, but on IIII the fusion is cleaner, come full circle. The vocal harmonies, here chanted, there rended from the bowels of something fiercely glim, enliven the core style – that, broadly, in the flavor of Earth, GYBE!, Swans and Secret Chiefs 3, Lustmord: now entangling a web of Igorrr and the like.
“Start as close to the end as possible.” I’ll take Vonnegut up on it. Briqueville certainly had done so on II, as they arguably have done here on IIII. There can hardly be a preamble when the work is this visceral, severe. Briqueville takes you on a trip you didn’t know you were in for. The latest entry in the sequence of psychological thrillers shakes up the approach and leaves us shaking in the dark.