Saturday, December 19, 2015

AKHLYS : "The Dreaming"

We come to this album which was released back in April in an effort to catch up on all the things we might have missed, this one has thus far appeared on a few end of the year lists so it merited giving it a listen. Naas Alcameth who brought you Nightbringer blasts into this project after and extended intro of minimalist atmosphere. The first phrase screamed is he dreams. The darkness is very tangible on this album, but if not for the perfect timing of me clicking back onto their Bandcamp page then it would have just sounded like they sped up and grew more intense as the second song bleeds out of the first. The challenge with harsh growls is making sure the vocal patterns do not all sound the same. They use dissonant chords in a very similar way as well creating a monochrome blackness, that while is convincingly evil sounding also begins to all sound the same. It is impressive that something this fiendish sounding came out of America, whose black metal tends to be more punk influenced. The first of the two songs on this album that are over ten minutes and the album's longest it's apparent where the fat could have been trimmed in the mixing of 'Consummation" as its two minutes into before the tidal wave of double bass rolls in and the last two minutes of church music that sounds like it could have been lifted from a horror movie, that would have brought this down to twelve minutes. On this song they create a sound that distinguishes this one from the previous blast fests. The rather angular guitar melody that echoes out in the verse adds to the hellish ambiance and the drummer really pays attention to detail and deviates from the kind of beats you would expect from black metal. Ten minutes in and the double bass is still going I am not sure if it justifies a ten minute length much less six more minutes."The Dreaming Eye" finds this project descending back into blast beats and retreading ground we have already stomped across. Overall the idea of this album and the sounds we are giving to build this idea of what it could be if the songwriting was given more room to explore the bounds outside of the color by numbers black metal is better than what is the final result. It has plenty of moments, it is certainly dark enough and angry enough to please less discriminating fans of black metal , but if we are talking about the best metal or even black metal albums of the year this one is not in the same league. I'll give it a 6.5.

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