Aosoth – IV: Arrow In Heart

AntaeuspromobandpictureIV copy

An invidious black consumption to ravage and douse any well -lit emotional template and hope fuelled presence, IV: Arrow In Heart the new album from French metallers Aosoth is a threatening and deeply rewarding violation. Viciously intimidating and at times almost too much of a challenge to listen to, the caustic and vengeful nineties death metal cored sounds of the band leave no sense, emotion, or synapse free of brutal provocation, and a thoroughly pleasing and rewarding experience it is.

The band was formed in 2002 as a side project of black metal grinders Antaeus, which took on stronger purpose when the main band stepped back from performing live. Through their  previous three albums the band has earned an immense recognition and acclaim for their invasive sounds and within the previous year has played selected shows with the likes of Watain, Shining, Ondskapt, Nehëmah, Farsot, Enthroned, Hell Militia, Blacklodge, Heretic, and more, their fourth album now stepping forth via Agonia Records to lay waste to senses and emotive bodies. It is a darker more virulent malevolence from Aosoth which the band itself commented on with “We’ve spent such a huge amount of time on defining a darker identity, yet open to a wider range of influences. Those tracks still haunt us, as delivering them was a painful and excruciating experience, and left some of us even physically wounded… which gives that album even more of a spiritual value, as it involved a form of sacrifice. This fourth full-length release is without a doubt a great step forward for us in term of music writing, and sound.” Listening to its hateful beauty it is ready to receive the same sacrifice from the listener, something which is deserved and more than generous in return.

An Arrow in Heart erodes the senses from its first insidious note, the track alone raising the threshold of endurance and passion. Aosoth_IV_artwork copyIt is a visceral encounter, though that applies across the whole release, which twists the senses into a wasted defenceless recipient of the decayed breath and light extinguishing punishment. The sonic veining is a groove to ignite ardour and sear flesh whilst the roaming soon ravaging black course of the song, is a torrent of aural spite and crafted violent invention.

Through the following One With The Prince With A Thousand Enemies and Temple of Knowledge, the band increase the desolation overwhelming the emotions with an intrusive air whilst mutually igniting greater ardour and addictive appetite for their contagious rabid grooves and acid coated melodic maliciousness. The first of the pair shifts and exposes every weakness in the psyche and emotions through continually twisting intensity and gait whilst the second finds a further furnace of intense ferocity and invention to crave and obliterate the senses with. Each song on the album, is rife with riveting imagination and equally mesmeric enterprise but Aosoth make you work and suffer for it with only numerous journeys through its mordant intent the only way to devour it all.

    Under The Nails and Fingertips continues the testing nasty transgressions with again the guitars and bass painting a plaintive narrative to extinguish any lingering corner of light or peace whilst the two parts of Broken Dialogue offer an individual confrontation which is cinematic in their make-up and carnally greedy in their creativity. The first part sets a debris strewn emotive collapse whilst the second is a toxic corruption, the droning and exhausting severity placed upon the ear permanently scarring.

     Ritual Marks Of Penitence closes off the album with its finest moment, the again drone driven sounds and chaining rhythms demanding subservience whilst they feed and suck senses and passions dry yet leave them desperate for much more of the insurgent beauty and magnetic invention. With a production as throughout the album, which allows the skilled craft of the members to stake their claim on the listener within the ferocious intensity, song and album is a masterful piece of mental and physical cruelty and very deeply satisfying.

Whether you can actually truly enjoy an album like IV: Arrow In Heart is debatable but the desire to frequently allow its blistering hellacious touch upon the body is undoubted.


RingMaster 18/04/2013

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Livarkahil: Wrath Of God

Following on from their staggering in all aspects of the word album Signs Of Decay of last year, French death metallers Livarkahil have returned with an even greater and devastating treat. Wrath Of God is a five track brutal monstrosity of excellence which has been unleashed as a free streaming/free download EP. Not only do the Parisian death metal leviathans rage an unstoppable sonic war upon the senses and body they do it for nothing, a selfless act of pure sadism.

Since forming in 2007, Livarkahil has unrelentingly whipped an ever increasing devoted following into a full frenzy through their outstanding releases, each one finding the band evolving into greater and more impressive spheres. Wrath Of God is no different and though arguably it is not an improvement on the previous colossal album it is not decline either but triumphantly explores new ideas from the band. The biggest difference is the vocals of HK. On the EP he has taken his previously gutturally pushed corruptions into an even more blackened arena and it works wonderfully. Though not as varied as we are used to the new approach brings a different thrilling blistering for the ear and one can only hope he combines this new flavouring with his more standard abuses in the future.

As to be expected the band leaves nothing on the table musically, in invention or force. The songs within Wrath Of God are as towering and violently unstoppable as the greatest tsunami. If there is a more clinical yet annihilatory band around it is hard to bring them to thought as the EP lays waste to the senses. As with previous releases  the core of the sound on the EP is death metal but there is again much more surging within the consumption, the band ripping up and re-animating in their own cause varied and distinct metal and industrial flavours. This makes for a persistently tumultuous storm of rampaging noise and invigorating invention. There is never a respite to grab a breath but with every note and second igniting emotions and synapses once dormant, it is extremely rewarding and welcome.

The restrained but sonically brewing intro of The Eternal Sun immediately grasps attention, its acidic melodic lure mesmeric before the militant rhythms emerging behind. The track soon erupts in a battalion of steeled jabs from drummer Skvm and challenging riffs thrust forward by guitarists Träume and Sonaer whilst bassist Simurgh prowls with devouring psychotic lines. Heavyweight muscles are flexed and incendiary melodic incursions lit as the track expands into a crushing and spiteful assault. It is an immense opener with its seven minutes plus of inspiring and cyclonic energy leaving one deeply satisfied.

From there the band raise the temperature and quality even more with the brilliant Through Hatred And Devotion. Making the previous track seem almost docile the song obliterates nerve endings and senses with a rabid ferocity. With jackhammer intensity through the merciless artillery of Skvm and denting bedlamic riffs, the song is a writhing creative black force towering over its recipient with venom and imaginative malicious intent.

The following Deny Your God is no less vindictive with a twisting barbed groove slashing the ear from within the ferocious invention and play. Like an anger fuelled bear, the track curses and stalks with an unbridled predatory taunting, its heart and voice snarling with a malevolence borne of the darkest pit.

     Devotion picks through the debris left behind with equal spite but brings a melodic glow to its tempestuous eagerness. Though arguably the least addictive of the tracks it has a siren breath to it with an insistently intriguing imagination and dark harmony underlining the surface black energy. This leads to an eventual contagion and pushes the song forward as one of the best on what is a stunning release.

Closing with the hypnotic ingenuity of the title track, another deeply intrusive and full gratifying explosion of craft and idea brewed in a vat of aggressive and oppressive creativity, Wrath Of God is easily one of the best things to appear this year. and Featuring guest appearances from Julien (Benighted), Henrik (As You Drown) , Mkm (Antaeus, Aosoth), BST (Aosoth, The Order Of Apollyon) and INRVI (Aosoth, VI), it is as mentioned released as a free download (link below)so there really is no excuse available to not go and feel the brilliance of Livarkahil.

RingMaster 15/06/2012 Registered & Protected



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