Monday, November 10, 2014

Sinmara : "Aphotic Womb"

An Icelandic black metal band is a rare thing these days , but it's an interesting take on the old cold sound. From the opening of "Katabasis" I can tell go things are ahead from the attention to detail they place in the sonic quality of what they do. They have some creepy fucking sounds calling out from the cold depths and are not rushing to throw blast beats at you. This might be due to the fact that this band features members of Wormlust."Cursed Salvation" brings on the more straight forward take on black metal. The vocals are lower coarse rasp. There is something almost Watain to the vocals. Not as pointed in there phrashing perhaps as Erik. The guitar here doesn't sound as good as it did at the onset of the album, but I can hear the thought put into even this more meat and potatoes style of metal.

The Watain feel continues on "Verminous", but this is much older "Sword to the Dark" Watain. It could be argued that is makes it Dissection influenced and probably Bathory influenced if we are going to count straws. The riff are one of their strong points. This is not the best production, but not the Necro sound either. The guitars care about melody and are not just droning noise. They pour on a little more speed with "Shattered Pillars". The snare does that really flat punk/ death metal thing I don't like here for a minute , but these guys flow pretty well, so the few seconds that don't hit it for me are always followed by something that will. There is more of the Swedish flavor in here, but it works well.

The descent into their darkness continues with "Stygian Voyage". The bass makes an appearance that cuts through the buzz saw of the guitar.It's when they go into these more haunting sounds that the band really finds themselves. It's strange so far both of the songs where they have hit on this the best have been instrumentals.They blast back on the title track. Even this more head first attack has thoughtful guitar work.The drummer is on it the majority of the time. There are just so many black metal bands from Europe or where ever these days until the bar has been raised.

They blast off into the great cold distance on "Aphotic Womb". It is a little more reckless of a bashing than they have dished out thus far in the album, with the drums holding it together. They wail away at a speed that inhibits attention to detail here. The layer of atmospheric guitar is the only element that holds my interest when they throw themselves into this sort of thing. Two and a half minutes later they start to make it an actual song.

They re-craft some interesting darkness from the start of "Teratoid Crossbreed" . The verse kicks and it defaults into old school death metal, that while powerful is less innovative than how they opened the song. The interplay between the two guitars is the strength of this song, with the growls just existing over the storming blur. They get back to the angular darker riff about four minutes in, but launch back into blasting. They close out the album with the ten minute "Mountain of Quivering Bones" that opens with a more dissonant riff with underlying blasting once the song kicks in. The melody that begins to develop is not unlike something one of the more Morbid Angels influenced bands from the occult death metal scene might employ. This get's hookier for a second and then they snap on you before you get too comfortable with it. The vocals are also layered to create almost a gang vocal effect.

At the six minute mark of the final song they break down into a more brooding section where the drums take on an almost Neurosis like tribal pound as the song sounds like it is descending into a post-apocalyptic landscape of sonics. Guitars squeal out from the dark corners of the chaos. Overall it's an enjoyable listen, some of the blasting parts sound like they are taking the easy way out after they show you they are capable of putting more thought into things, but I'll give this album an 8, as it sounds good and has a nice dark feel while straddling the line between death metal and Swedish black metal.

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