Saturday, May 9, 2015

Absconditus: 'Kατάβασις"

Deathspell Omega seems to be the band to beat in France these days, which is a shame because France had a good run of very creative black metal coming out of it. The Death Spell influence is strong on this one , but these guys are not as blatant an homage as some. There is an angular quality and some dark dissonance , but what helps set these guys apart is some of the very melodic guitar harmonies. They work better when they are taking more risks rhythmically than just lunging at a blast . It's in some of the more overt metal moments like like galloping that this band shines and makes the more Deathspell nuances just window dressing rather than jumping on the bandwagon.

"Exultet" seems a little darker to me. The vocals retain the same scream throughout the album dropping down slightly into a more guttural growl as an accent, but on "Exultet" they are double to create an very evil serpentine sound. There is some really excellent guitar work on this album. The drumming is pretty on point as well, but the guitar is where it is at. Most of the songs hand around the eight minute mark, which is a happy medium for me. Droning is not this bands thing so they are in twisting your head around and then out into the next cerebral rampage. Though on the closing song they do drift closer into the path of droning when they lock onto some tremolo picking.

I had to listen to "Hybris" more than once to fully ingest what was happening. It had the crunching angular wreckage mixed with more traditional back metal pacing. The gurgle low sound that could be an inhuman vocal is another good addition to the hellish mix of sounds, this one has more of an Emperor feel to me than Deathspell, though Emperor is obviously one of Deathspell's influences. I'll round this up to a 9.5 it might very well make it onto the iPod. If you need more discordant prog tinged black metal that is not too cool to be metal then here you go.

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