Brief Reports from July 2022

            Time continues its perpetual course as the second half of this year is firmly underway, and with the passing of another month comes a point to reflect on some of its worthwhile offerings. Multiple styles are explored on this selection, with the spectrum progressing from raw blackened hellishness through dissonant black/death malevolence and onward to a heavy grinding assault, and they venture into realms of chaotic and abyssal splendor. Each work possesses its own distinct substance, but the atmospheres they conjure all reach compelling levels, and their collective yields a small but potent sample of the greatness I encountered in July.

WAVES IDLE SYMMETRY     Thalassa

            My attention was drawn back toward early June to experience this debut enchantment, and the classic Hellenic spirit radiates within its own melodic and wrathful approach. These elements are forwarded by a harsh but clear production, where noted shapes and heavier riffing currents produce varieties of bleakness, and fierce vocals heighten the overall vehemence alongside blast-beaten and tremolo barrages. Intricate courses are pursued amid the frenzy, which meanders through slower melancholic areas employing hammered or sliding techniques, and sections of muted speed progress into riffs with striding rhythmic structures. Those grooved and rocking paces carry the influences briefly away from gloom, and other striking percussive designs lend emphasis to certain melodies. They often reach points of grandeur, with layers of elevated and crushing interaction on the final track being especially notable, and many heights are also transcended with leadwork, a feature readily marked by its euphoric quality. Atmospheric counterparts are found in the desolation of multiple clean-stringed passages, and the dynamism persists until reflection is prompted during an end with ocean waves. A strong first impression is delivered on Thalassa, and it brings anticipation for expansive future outputs from WAVES IDLE SYMMETRY.

NЁBRAHHARTЁN     Metamorphosis

            This entity has been conjuring ghastly works throughout July, and so I decided to focus on its first manifestation, which appeared at the very end of June. A haunting allure is produced through raw and atmospheric forms, with their aural presence emanating from utterly hellish pits, and those elements congeal into an unrelenting mass of eerie and hostile cacophony. Progressions are discernable within its imposing currents, and they drift across heavier depressive states and glaring heights with sustained malevolence. Moments of striking potency develop when ambience takes hold among the distorted layers, and these are emphasized by slower percussive beats that are thoroughly embedded in the mix. Rhythms fluctuate notably to match an entrancing, almost meditative flow, alongside escalated points to compound other unsettling vibrations, and those influences course rampantly throughout while wretched spectral echoes mirror the nightmarish immensity. This breed of art is intended for the most devout of genre purists and may be considered too minimalistic by some, but it ultimately demonstrates the genuine type of pitch-blackness that promotes torment by leaving the imagination to its own devices. Intrigue is sustained across the works of NЁBRAHHARTЁN, and hopefully its abominable multitude will become physically released in time.

UZLAGA     The Might of Waves

            Haunting tides have surged in the UK, with The Might of Waves crashing toward new shores for this blackened genre, and it extends to the deepest unknown trenches as atmospheric wonder gives way to blasting and tremolo oppression. Intervallic fluctuations progress in those currents, and slower passages reveal a doomy variant alongside riffing that imposes the weight of a fathomless abyss. Between these extremes are mid-paced grooving rhythms, where punk influences are discerned within certain riffs, and detailed progressions ensue with a stride matched by harsh vocal patterns. Their rabidity is sustained and submerged in the watery mix, which effectively conveys the substance of its vast primordial expanse, and this raw fury is contrasted by the allure evoked through a variety of ambient and instrumental effects. Sounds of the coast and other distinct qualities highlight multiple levels of aquatic enchantment, including the more desolate areas explored using different string and horn features, and they flow beyond interlude passages to surface amid distinguished riff courses. The heavier arrangements are also imbued with melodic and arpeggiated forms, along with dissonant notes appearing on a later track, and epic encounters result when aural and distorted powers converge. An oceanic spirit is thoroughly constructed in the dynamism of this work, and UZLAGA’s navigation across its novel territory prompts enthusiasm for future voyages.

ÓSSERP     Els Nous Cants De La Sibil·la

            Spain is at the epicenter of doomsday with the release of a third full epic from ÓSSERP, and mankind is reduced to irrelevance by the enormity of its compositions. The essence of death grind manifests in a pummeling percussive fury matched by riffing speed, and this core embodiment extends to passages that forward bleak and crushing variations. Pointed notes and fret patterns demonstrating a technical frenzy are woven amid the madness, along with heightened tremolo currents leading into grand developments, and arpeggiated disturbances evoke a sinister tone enhanced by slower paces. Impressions of doom also take hold within those sections, and rhythmic qualities persist through the entrancing flow and stride of other rocking tempos. Vocals parallel these different levels with harsh layered dynamics that delve into guttural oppression, and the orchestrated intensity only escalates when atmospheric features emerge. Their aural spirit conjures a mythical presence consistent with the evolving structures, but it reaches further toward infinity with dark industrial and cosmic effects, which then become magnified by spacey lead melodies and soloing. An ultimate demise is fated in the ancient and eternal wrath of Els Nous Cants De La Sibil·la, and a captivating tale unfolds in its formulas with the means to transcend oblivion.

EXALTATION     Under Blind Reasoning

            A devastating force has erupted in the realms of New Zealand, and its first full-length scourge advances with a multifarious storm of density and darkness. The riffing wields thick tremolo and chord elements to conjure a variety of warped distortions, with ominous and dissonant vibrations prowling throughout the murk, and obscured details creep across slower paces until escalating into torrents of chaotic magnitude. These progress while formulating complex rhythmic structures, and percussive tendencies drive the derangement with erratic points of frenzy alongside the strikes from within doom areas. Those regions are augmented by anguished vocal expressions, which are among the many layers and dynamics extending past their rugged depths, and atmospheric qualities often arise to compound the heavier arrangements. A menacing cavernous presence is highlighted during passages harnessing that subtle aura, and desolate squealed tones feed the shadows along with scraped and eerie arpeggiated strings. Lead melodic shapes also surface amid the turbulence, and another grooving section reveals notes glaring in time from beneath the raw mass. Monstrous influences ascend through the events witnessed on Under Blind Reasoning, and its colossal impact demonstrates EXALTATION’s capacity to plague our mortal existence.

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