The phrase The Absence of Void (or in other words “not nothing”) basically means the same as “something”. If we indulge in its mystic inclination, the phrase is not about pointing out that there is or there isn’t something but emphasizing the importance of having something. It is almost a description of the emotionally needy and it describes the music in this album very well.
As is common with all the uppity and profound hipster black metallers, they care little for the right tone and color in the genre and will paint it with brushes from indie rock and any other happy-dumby expression. This would not matter if they went all the way and just made indie rock, but it is the discrepancy between black metal and their post-metal penchant for happy and light passages that furthermore are only indulgences in the moments that do not build on the song that show this music for what it is: emotional neediness that just wants something, that just wants to not have nothing.
Although some, including the band, will probably try to claim to be related to metal, this is nothing but post-metal dressed as black metal. Once you get to the middle of the album the song “Alma” will completely dispel any doubts (on a separate note, this completely NOT metal song is probably the best song in the album, also the only honest one). So we shall judge it “on its own grounds” as some superficialists would say. Post-metal fails even on its own grounds. Music that only stagnates in an “atmospheric” moment and then introduces another stasis. It’s a different kind of musical masturbation from technical wanking. This is emotional wanking with sounds.
Obsequiae, Minnesota’s organic, medieval metal outfit, is preparing for the release of their sophomore LP, Aria Of Vernal Tombs, through 20 Buck Spin later this month. While the anxiously awaited album is already reaping critical pre-release acclaim, the physical embodiments of the record has been very slightly delayed, so in response, the band and label have issued another new passage of glorious audio from the platter to the masses. American Aftermath has lent their assistance in issuing In The Absence Of Light through an exclusive premiere from Obsequiae’s Aria Of Vernal Tombs.
You can listen to In the Absence of Light on Soundcloud.
Obsequiae’s debut, Suspended in the Brume of Eos, was featured on DMU’s best of 2011 album selections.
Review contributed to Death Metal Underground by Edward Colt.
Suffocation overreaches on this one. Favoring the pubescent Call Of Duty crowd, they have fully bent over and accepted that their last handful of albums are: video game music. With new artwork that looks like something out of Mass Effect, all …Of the Dark Light invokes is some strange ground between nerd-rage and ravehead drug bingers. The cover artwork could be the poster of some corn field sponsored outdoor rave event in your nearest rural area away from seemingly never-ending suburban sprawl.
Deathspell Omega return with another uninspired and uninspiring record entitled The Synarchy of Molten Bones. Their last record, Paracletus, was built on a foundation of Voivod-lite chords executed with the alt metal sensibilities of The Dillinger Escape Plan. In an effort to build ambience, additional guitar tracks would attempt to produce a microtonal effect without actual production of microtones; just more dissonance. These techniques were then deployed over pop-leaning melodies which become pronounced should one decide to hum the otherwise atonal morass.
Times seem grim. The orcs have taken Osgilliath and approach the gates of the white city. Western Civilization is still dying, accelerated by democracy and consumerism, but rotten to its core with a lack of hope. Metal once gave that hope by showing us an alternate morality comprised of effective realism and epic mythos. Many of us want to live in that time again, but it will not happen through democracy or consumerism. We must choose our leaders and then all of us participate in restoring and advancing the greatness we have known.
Death Metal Underground staffer Corey M reached out to the prolific French-Canadian black metal band Sorcier des Glaces for a written interview about their career. Our staff compiled a list of questions which Sébastien from Sorcier des Glaces thankfully and thoroughly answered:
Crematory’s 1992 EP is the very definition of good, old riff salad death metal, at least from a basic technical stance. Strings of ideas fly by with less-than-optimal riff glue to hold them together, but an intuitive flow is always present. Adjacent riffs may be linked motif-wise, but sharp corner-turns are never too far away. There is a clear emphasis in contrasting rhythms to create interest in the music in the absence of clearer goals. Denial is a good example of why many black metal musicians who were originally playing death metal chose to forgo this style in order to look for more artistically meaningful avenues of expression. Crematory is fun, and there is an obvious emphasis on technical proficiency that although not forgetting entirely about coherence leaves it as a second thought, and any other landscaping is all but forgotten. Concept building is left to the lyrics, while the music is only an engine to carry those words.
Fans of this old school band’s work tag this lazy and faceless approach as ‘Crematory style’, but in truth, it is just run-of-the-mill riff salad without any particular purpose; only remarkable for presenting some technical variation. This can be particularly observed when the band attempts to take rhythm to the edge of what their speed-based approach allows them and creates this ass-shaking syncopation worthy of Brazilian carnivals. This comes out as comical, but perhaps technically ‘interesting’ for drummers. The guitar’s work is completely driven by these frenetic drums that seem more interested in showing off how many different patterns they can cram into half a minute than in contributing to the larger picture. In fact, the whole of the music appears to be an excuse for rhythmic exercises in “fun and gore”. This is an early demonstration of tongue-in-cheek emptiness that lead these musicians to explore technique but reveal nothing to the soul.
This very entertaining cover of Iron Maiden’s song ‘Hallowed be Thy Name’ as performed by a bass clarinet quartet was posted on Youtube a few years ago. The instruments take on the melodic lines of the song, which was aptly selected as it is rich in them. This experiment is not only fun to listen to but interesting in how a different instrumentation highlights one aspect of the music while utterly losing a whole dimension exploited by the original composition.
The clarity of melody and harmony is quite enhanced here and so their study and appreciation by the guitar student seeking to learn and emulate this aspect of the song will greatly benefit from this adaptation. However, the loss of the power chord, and particularly the power chord played on the distorted electric guitar means the loss of an ocean of artificial artifacts that form the bulk of the richness of sound of the instrument and which lend metal and hard rock music one of its distinctive aural characteristics.
The necessary absence of the drum set is seen by the more classically-oriented music fan or musician as, perhaps, negligible, but this is only because of the widespread ignorance (either through pop culture or academic music indoctrination) about the relevance of percussion in metal. Contrary to the now-traditional view of percussion as a less important aspect of music (which, in fact, flies in the face of many traditional folk musics around the world, where it is recognized and studied by academicians yet still seen with derision as “primitive”), this reliance that metal has exhibited in increasing amounts is not a measure of scarcity of content or artistic deficiency, but rather the appearance of an unknown variable.
Metal percussion in its most advanced states, that is, in its use in the more artistically (as opposed to technically) developed subgenres of death and black metal shows a usage and expansion that just does not exist in traditional or experimental classical music. As such, academicians have no precedent by which to measure or qualify this. They should perform field research, they should listen, but they are too comfortable and busy feeling self-important. This is the sad state of the intellectually self-gratifying (and ‘morally’ bankrupt) art that results from two centuries of overarching materialism, corruption and decay.
Many would point to the obvious origin of metal percussion in traditional rock, and that is factually right, yet its use and direction has gone far beyond it and in some cases taken cues even from electronic music (especially in the case of some black metal)and jazz music (in the case of some death metal). Metal percussion incorporates aspects of these and has built a whole new art out of it that could be considered the more spiritual child of the pleasure-oriented and technically-nuanced jazz (Editor’s note: DMU has written about this very hypothesis in the deep past).
The future and refinement of metal this metal percussion should not to reside in the empty groove explorations of fusion as seen in djent nor in the facetious exercises of tekdeth which may even borrow directly from genres such as samba in their search for “entertaining and interesting” bits to play, regardless of how this may affect the character of the music. Also defunct inside are the dead-end and superficial attempts at applications of abstract concepts in nu-black metal and war metal. As in all other aspects of the already-cemented, fully-formed language of metal, the role of its percussion and its abstract concepts have been made known implicitly in the music of the classics. Go, listen, study, learn, apply.
Turkish provocative avant-garde black metal band Blliigghhtted releases its latest, Kosmoskampf, via London-based Merdumgiriz Records on December 24, 2015. Death Metal Underground presents a live stream of the album for you to hear before ordering.
01. Laughing Siblings
02. In Absu’s Absent Presence
03. And Tiamat’s Present Absence
The band issued the following statement:
The audial part of the Kaoskampf project, which also includes a 16mm film, is 4 epic songs of purist black metal in its most innovative and spiritual form divide the 44-minute album. Emir’s signature bassy vocals reign over a technical chaos of his slithering hypnotic guitars and Merdumgiriz’ off the wall explosive drumming. It would be just to claim that these three musicians who have been continuously banned from every platform and circle for their shining of truth has reached their pinnacle in audial craftsmanship with this album. The music takes many forms including doom lead parts stitched together by fast and relentless black metal to strong melodic death metal marches. This album, along with its poetic lyrics of chaos myth that take its essence from the Chaoskampf theme and runs with it in the timeless self exploration and destruction of mankind that is “theology”. This raw but powerful as fuck production will be released through Merdumgiriz where Emir hand makes all the tapes, all this brings to mind the best of underground times in the 90ies. The innovation is embedded in tradition just as light is embedded into blight, this album is an epitome of doubt, hΩpe(lessness) and devotion thereof.
Formed by Ruahanathanas known for her work in VIRANESIR. BLLIIGGHHTTED is a psychodrama for exploring the history and philosophy of dark spirituality through correlations and juxtapositions of tradition and degeneration in essence and form. Current members include filmmaker-musician Emir Togrul of YAYLA and the idiosyncratic drummer Merdümgiriz. The project is releasing the fourth album through Merdumgiriz Records December 24th.
As with all his work on Merdumgiriz Records, Emir Toğrul’s grand vision, each copy of Kosmoskampf CD, Tape, t-shirt and patch will be made by hand in the artisanal style. Emir paints the discs, cuts and inserts the prints for the jewel case and jacket, making all non-machined parts from scratch. All current and upcoming merch comes to fans direct from the hand of the creator himself.