Sunday, December 14, 2014

Catching up with 2014 - Alraune : "The Process of Self Immolation"

This album is a lot like Nux Vomica's new one in the sense, it takes several listens for me to gather my feelings towards it. These guys have wandered onto a few best of 2014 lists. They dropped this one back in June, and I do not remember hearing any buzz about it then, but here it is now. They do  not sound like they are from Tennessee, I'm am not going to say they sound like the next Darkthrone, but they are in more of the hipster New York or Cali sphere.

The ragged rough mix is as raw as you might want your black metal. The vocals are almost muffled behind the clanging and the snare sounds lost until they go into more of a thrash section. If not for the Deafheaven like clean break, to serve as a guidepost I might not have realized we were entering another song. They do jam on Simulacra"s lazy intro a while before gong into an even more furious blasting.There is a part at the four and a half mark that sounds like Converge. The vocals cry out in a somewhat cleaner tone. This Converge voice return for a more angular section at the six and a half minute mark.

Feedback bridges them over into "Kissed By the Red" . That Converge like anguish returns to the vocals right from the first few words he cries out.It's emotive in a manner that black metal is not known for. I am hesitant to really think of these guys as black metal , it's almost like if Converge decide to drone you with blast beats instead of dazzle you with angular jerking. The drummer is better than he lets on at first and gradual as the album unwind the flourishes have a craftier side than brute pounding.

The title track closes thing out. An 11 minute monster that is frothing at the mouth almost from the get go. The angular groove that haunt the song as a thematic element is teetering on something unsettling. The hardcore yells can not be denied on some movements. Still the lyrics are garbling beneath the guitar that dominates the mix for the entire album.The bass is a frequency some where but doesn't really come out of hiding. They default to blasting more often than not in the meat of the songs middle section.When they are not locked in a blast beat the guitars are attacking the song with a similar tension, letting the drum hammer the toms.

I seem to remember liking this album more the first listen, than I did sitting down do dissect it, then you see how many just droning blast parts there are , and the band leaves it up to the drummer to sort them all out. I like where these guys are going, fans of Ash Borer and Fell Voices take note. I;ll give it an 8, though I don't see this as something I have to have, but I feel they deserve the 8 as they are good at what they are doing .

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