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Atrocity - Longing for Death
Review: As death metal flourished into technicality in 1992 this work of epic conception and progressive intent was created with an unmarketable production and heavily Germanic aesthetic emphasizing doomy, dark and literally suicidal chromatic melodies in the death metal style layered in a trellis of variations across circular song structures, returning to themes and developing them in fast single-note and power chord riffing in a classic progressive European death metal form. Abrupt hoarse and roughly explosive vocals form texture of coherence between churning mechanistic precision percussion and other elements of instrumentalism.
Nihilistic in an approach to themes and structure that opportunistically allocates tonal and rhythmic methods of interweaving elements of progressive narrative as "song structure" that covers an evolving motif series which exposes a core theme, usually essential to that of the initiation of the piece as harmonized through structure to a variant leaving open melodic space in a state of dissonance yet rhythmically and in most cases, structurally through resolution in chromatic riff phrase progressions, reductive and deconstructive. Internally shifting rhythms and opposing spatial reclamations of inertia power strange and perverse twists of modal phrasing which inject rhythm of geometrical opposition to all expectation in the smaller sense in which the listener conceives of forward motion in tonal completion of phrase.
Structured as it is, the most astonishingly reinvented sense on this album is that of rhythmic lead phrasing using the implied resonance of single notes to underscore their melodicity precisely attached to a narrative thread throughout the changing panorama of rhythm and timbre formed layered texture encouraging tonal motion. These are lyrical voices in guitar buried within the noise of a mix and its detonations of blasting intensity that rival the American school through raw conflict and drive. In combination, the voices of narration: gruff-throated percussiveness and textures of distorted stringed instruments, achieve harmony through working together to uncover immanent structure.
Abrasively nihilistic, this album presages bands like Bethlehem or Suffocation who integrated feral and doomish progressions throughout the longer development of songs with darker themes. Later in the album, on the maudlin "Sky Turned Red" and in fragments of other songs, the phrases stretch into wandering atmospheric dissipation. The bulk of the music is excellent, but as in the case of "Effigy of the Forgotten," both underproduction and emphasis on structuralism with sometimes trailing conclusions create a work that is barely understandable by most listeners. Yet throughout the years, this release has been hailed many times by influential music makers throughout the metal community, and upon listening retains its vital energy true to concept of gothic, deathlike technical blasting death metal with a soul of suicidal rationalism.