Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Dysangelium : "Thanatos Askesis"

I used think of German black metal as sounding to stiff, but in the past year their have been a few releases to make me rethink that assumption. The first thought I had when the album hit me was ...It is too bad these guys missed the dead line for my top 15 black metal album, right from the first song I am impressed by the German band's raw pounding they pull out upon my ears. Right when their approach seem too straight forward for me they pull out a cool melodic riff from their bag of tricks. The blur doesn't occur until the third song, where they become a wall of white blasting noise until a slowed solo section.

"Chaomega" sees the band opt for a more thrashing take on black metal. It also bears some of the albums most impressive drumming. They do employ atmosphere and let the songs breath and build dynamically. Some of their blasting sections where the momentum carries them faster than their legs can run are the only moments where it seems they are defaulting into whats expected from the genre, but have a knack of redeeming themselves creatively after doing so. They sometimes come across as a faster more pumped up version of Venom, on songs like "Aries". The slowed spoken middle section breaks things up as needed.

The chanted vocal over the enthralling speed of "Gateways to Necromancy" provides an effective catalyst for the throaty roar to come back in on the slowed throb of the chorus. At time there is a slight Behemoth element to their sound, though Nergal's more feral side and less of the melodramatics. The classic darkness and dissonance that should surface to some extent in every black metal band's sound is here. It provides the creepy counter point to their more death metal influenced moments on songs like "I am the Witness , I am Servant". The guitarists are good at working together to weave a icy cold twin attack. One guitar provides the creepy unsettling melodies while the other sticks to a more direct metal approach.

This ia a pretty solid album, it sounds good from a production stand point without sacraficing too much of it's rawness. These guys  are songwriters rather than throwing a bunch of blinding blasts at you which fade into background noise. I'll give this album an 8, unsure how much play I will get out of it, but fans of dense raw Geraman black metal will find it here.

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