Thursday, November 3, 2016

Jassa : "Lights in the Howling Wilderness"

Catching back up with Fallen Empire Records. It was not so long ago that you could not go wrong with them. It seems they are delving into more traditional metal rather than atmospheric black metal. The guttural vocals of this Russian band plants them more firmly on the death metal side of the equation. They know the value of atmosphere, but prefer to trample you under the racing guitars. The drums and bass both keep you so that is pretty impressive. The bass player stood out on the intro piece, by the time you are well into "Crescent moon over dark water" they are touching on thrash. If they production was tweaked and the vocals did not create a blown out wall of distortion in their own right then this would sit closer towards a band like Vader. There is enough dissonance to keep their thrash influences at bay. At the six minute mark they lock into a pretty moving groove and a weird clean vocal chant chimes in.

"The One who waits on the other Side" walks a weird tight rope sometimes it lulls you into more of a hypnotic drone at others it seems like they can get to preoccupied with the need for speed. It is more black metal than the two previous songs. The songs more melodic moments that come later in the song play to their strengths. This song faces a similar problem to the song "Breath of the Most Ancient God" that follows in that it runs together with the song before it so I have to click back over to their Bandcamp page when I think they might have moved onto another. So what does this mean you ask? Well the uniformity of their sound can cause all the songs to sound the same which is not a quality I admire in a band. "Breath of the most Ancient God" is more aggressive and thrash influences really come out to play once you are more submersed in the song.

The album ends with a outro that is various forms of ambient noise. Overall this is different from what I am used to hearing from this label. I like the fact it is not straight up run of the mill death metal. Production wise I would have tweaked the vocals a little, I under stand not wanting to sound like everyone else so it's a fine line here. The songs running together and the rather uniform dynamic is my only other concern keeping this from being regular listening, I'll give it a 7.5. If you are bored with your death metal give these guys a shot.


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