If I was going to define black metal – a lust for darkness and the chill of a cold atmosphere would be at the top of my list. With these two qualities in place, I hope the music that ensues will whisk me off into a hypnotic journey into the abyss. This is accomplished by this Swiss project in the first few minutes of the album the journey to the abyss is underway. The atmosphere is created by a cavernous mix allowing this to be second nature. The darkness is nurtured by the dissonance of the guitars. If you have read any of my other reviews, you might notice I return to a common when it comes to metal. I need metal to be as heavy sonically as it is heavy in its aggressive metallic drive. This is achieved midway into the first song. There is an alchemy to quality music, no matter the genre. It’s in how the vibrations of the instruments are manipulated to summon and crafting something that connects a spiritual level. Most music manufactured for commercial consumption doesn’t do this. It is done here, giving this album a quality that all the corpse paint in the world can not compensate for.
Sure, many of the metallic trappings we have traditionally come to think of as black metal these days are in place, but things don’t stop with blast beats alone. With a song like “S.O.P.O.R,” where your ears are hit with a frontal assault, the blast beats are the bubbles in the roiling cauldron, laying underneath the mist-filled din above them. Some Bathory nuances more common in Swedish Black Metal can be heard, but they are not necessarily borrowing from any one band. The vocals are in a choked grunt a few steps lower than mid-range. The songs efficiently written, staying in the seven to eight minute range. They are not lost in the drone, using the hypnotic powers of black metal with the aim of the composition still in mind. Hearing the bass in the mix is an added bonus for me. Most of the time in black metal it gets lost in the chaos of tremolo picking. One of the album’s more hypnotic moments lies in the pulse to “KR.VY Portals.” The vocals drop into a deeper death metal growl as the guitar drifts into something more in common with free jazz than metal aside from the dense distortion.
The tightly palm-muted chug of “Resurgence of Primordial Void Aperture” shows yet another side to their expanding range of metal. The vocals stay in the low death metal register. Perhaps not having the same sense of dynamics displayed this one opts to keep the oppression more constant. They blast back into a more feral pace for the title track that closes this album. This track is the album’s most straightforward, as it stays in a full force blast and low deathly growl the entire time. Overall, this album blends enough of the aggression needed to invoke the nightmarish mood they have created. This makes you look forward to the promise of other places they might take this in future. So if you have grown tired of your current rotation of beautifully ugly black metal and are looking for something new, then this album is more than worth your time.