Category Archives: Reviews

REVIEW: MESMUR – S


REVIEW: MESMUR – S by Jessica Johnson / Dark Art Conspiracy

A singularity is the point in a black hole where density becomes infinite, space-time bends, and the laws of physics as we know them cease to operate.

This is the perfect way to describe Mesmur’s newest album “S,” an infinitely dense soundscape that bends space and time around the listener. A meandering funeral dirge through the chaotic void that is the universe.  A universe that was doomed from the start.

Mesmur is a funeral doom metal collaboration with members hailing from different parts of the globe: the U.S, Australia and Italy. Led by Yixja, the mastermind that brought to life the progressive black metal band Dalla Nebbia, along with vocalist Chris G (Orphans of Dusk), drummer Alkurion (Dalla Nebbia and Funeral Age), and bassist Michele M.

“S” is their second album, after their self-titled success, “Mesmur.” “S” will not disappoint fans of the genre. It does everything that funeral doom metal is supposed to do with a bit extra. Influences range from Evoken to Esoteric, Ea, Mar de Grises, Comatose Vigil, Ahab and Neurosis.

The music is not supposed to be “enjoyed,” but “experienced.” The synthesizer does a great job of creating a melancholic atmosphere that bends and fluxes around guttural vocals and discordant riffs that at times torture the listener with the dissonance of a dentist’s drill. At some points the distortion is very grainy. I’m not sure if that was an intentional choice or a flaw in the production. I also wasn’t a fan of the overdose of sound effects, but I suppose that was part of the experience.

Let’s talk about why the album was named “S.” The final track is called “S = k ln Ω.” This equation refers to entropy. I am not smart enough to give the exact definition justice, but put simply, entropy refers to a lack of order or predictability and the gradual decline into disorder.

I believe the song “S” along with the album encapsulates that theme. Each track is a progression into more chaos and disorder, with the first track being “Singularity” (an infinitely small but dense single point), followed by “Exile” (something going outward), “Distension” (enlarging, dilation, a ballooning effect), and finally “S” (breaking down into chaos). Indeed the first track is more tightly formed and dense than the rest, with harder distortion and more riffage. Each following track becomes more disorderly until you get to the end, which is almost an overkill of sound effects, and at times sounds like someone fell asleep on the synthesizer. But as a thematic representation of the expansion and break down of the universe, it’s fucking brilliant.

I also noticed that the cicada-like sound effects that ended the first song were played in the beginning of the last song. Were the artists trying to make an “S” shape through the album, or was that just a cool coincidence? Who knows? As one reviewer said, “If you look long into the abyss the abyss will look back. ‘S’ is the sound of the abyss looking back.” Perhaps I stared too long into the void with this one. “S” is a delicious descent into entropy. Each time you listen, there are new mysteries to discover.

So check out “S,” the sound of the universe’s demise.

SCORE: 4/5 

Country: USA
Style: Funeral Doom metal
Label: Solitude Production
(https://solitude-prod.com)
Release date: September 15, 2017

Jeremy L (Yixja) – Guitars/Synth
John D (Alkurion) – Drums
Michele M – Bass
Chris G – Vocals
Music and Lyrics by Jeremy L
Recorded/Engineered by Mesmur
Mixed and Mastered by Jeremy L
Cover Art by Cadaversky
Layout by Jeremy L
http://www.facebook.com/mesmurdoom
https://solitude-prod.com

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REVIEW: SEPTICFLESH – CODEX OMEGA


Septicflesh – Codex Omega review by Ekaterina K.

Well, Septicflesh return again with another monumental and epic mix of death metal and wicked   orchestrations. Always being on the edge of metal and symphony, these Greeks put a lot of sense and concept in their albums. “Codex Omega” isn’t an exception from this point. All lyrics of Sotiris Vayenas are always full of symbols and often refers to mythology, occult or biblical themes and moves their music into a new depth, where pompous monster is born.

From the first sight, you can definitely say that this is Septicflesh – album cover says it directly. Seth Siro Anton’s style is unrepeatable. Though I found cover of the album “The Great Mass” (2011) more interesting than this one.

Opening track “Dante’s Inferno” catches attention with it’s softer intro and then crushes mix of splendous orchestra and death metal riffs upon listener’s head. Since “The Great Mass” and “Titan” it was still this orchestra+death metal formula, and on this album Sepriflesh didn’t invent anything new, this formula is brilliantly shaped and re-shaped by them in order to have an ideal Symphonic death metal. “Codex Omega” shows that they succeeded and no one can create more powerful music in this subgenre, than Septicflesh themselves.

In the “Third Testament” there com a bit different colors. With the biblical lyrics, this song has more brutal riffs and drum line, especially it concerns main riff, and even darker and lower orchestra lines, perfectly matching with Seth’s deep growl. Soundtrack of reversed Testaments and broken religious beliefs.

“Portrait of the Headless Man” begins with pressuring and sinister intros crosses with duduk sound, associated with spirits and secrets of the East. Gives a bit dramatism in the clue moments during the song and have its own thin, but unique line on the enraged symphonic death metal canvas. Sotiris’ clean vocals and choirs on the background bring diversity to the Seth’s powerful, but a bit monotonous vocal line.

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REVIEW: ARCH ENEMY – WILL TO POWER


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REVIEW: Arch Enemy – Will To Power by Carina Lawrence / Dark Art Conspiracy

Swedish melodic death metallers Arch Enemy are back with their tenth album and follow up to the successful 2014 ‘War Eternal’ which saw new vocalist Alissa White-Gluz’s take to the helm, and was the first album in thirteen years to feature a new line-up after former long-time vocalist Angela Gossow stepped down. The transition went well and she was quickly accepted by fans. With this new album ‘Will To Power’, it is the first album to feature respected guitarist Jeff Loomis who joined in 2014 and notably is the first to incorporate more clean vocals throughout, again showing off Alissa’s wide talents and the evolution of Arch Enemy after their two-decade career.

Opening song ‘Set Flame To The Night’ is a scene setter, with voices and sirens accompanied by resonant fast and alarming guitars that build suspense and foreboding…

‘The Race’ furiously kicks off with Alissa White-Gluz’s fierce screamed vocals and urgent guitars. The guitar work, especially towards the end, carries over the creepy vibes seen in the opener. It features crashing riffs and rapid drums throughout, this is a solid and savage first full offering and sets the bar high.

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Review: The Dead Soul Communion – MMXVII


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REVIEW: The Dead Soul Communion – MMXVII by Carina Lawrence / Dark Art Conspiracy

The Dead Soul Communion is a brand new project from Ex Devilment founder Daniel Finch. The band also features members of Steve Harris British Lion and ex Dearly Beheaded drummer Simon Dawson, along with members of Synaptik, Heathen Deity and more, so there is a lot of experience and influences running through the band. The album lyrically deals with many themes such as internal struggles, love, relationships, suicide, self-destruction, acts of violence, war and mental illness.

Opening song ‘My Beautiful Mistake’ gets things off to a powerful melodic start with fierce outbursts and chug heavy guitars. This is a hefty, varied and unpredictable track especially towards the end, leaving us eager to hear more…

‘The Communion’ is much darker with aggressive growls and stomping fast instruments. It still maintains its melodic currents aided through the use of the clean vocals. The synths add more depth and ambience and work well with the thrash riffs, giving it a dramatic and suspenseful sound.

Continuing on the theatrical atmosphere is the intro of ‘Last Grains Of Sand’ which goes on to hit hard in this non-stop thumping metal offering which is all consuming through the effects and vocal wails.

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REVIEW: Ded – Mis-An-thrope


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REVIEW: DED- MIS-AN-THROPE by Carina Lawrence / Dark Art Conspiracy

Ded are a relentless modern metal band from Phoenix Arizona who have been causing quite the commotion since their first EP and now they are really stirring things up with their high impact debut album ‘Mis-An-Thrope’. Through their hard work and driven attitude, they gained the attention of well-known producer John Feldmann (Disturbed, Blink-182, Beartooth) and the momentum continues to grow. They just finished a run with Korn and Stone Sour, and have various other tour dates and festival appearances lined up for the rest of the year.

Opening song ‘Architect’ surges and explodes from the off declaring “get up and fucking go” which is very appropriate for the carnage that ensues and is the perfect song to lose your shit too. This is frantic, seriously catchy and a well-structured heavy hitter that is non-stop and prepares you for what is to come for the rest of the album…

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REVIEW: AZARATH – IN EXTREMIS


REVIEW: AZARATH – IN EXTREMIS by Jessica Johnson / Dark Art Conspiracy

Release date: April 7th
Genre: Blackened Death Metal

The newest album of Polish black/death metal tyrants Azarath has the right name. “In Extremis,” meaning “at the point of death” or “under extreme circumstances” in Latin, is a non-stop assault of extreme death metal that takes no prisoners. The anticipated album arrives six long years after its predecessor, “Blasphemers’ Maledictions” (2011).

Azarath was formed almost two decades ago by drummer Inferno (of Behemoth fame), and he is currently accompanied by Bart (Armagedon, Damnation) on guitars, Necrosodom (Anima Damnata, Deus Mortem, ex-Infernal War) on vocals and guitars, as well as Peter (ex-Lost Soul) on bass.

Stylistically, the album is a demonic concoction of death metal influences: Polish extreme death metal with its relentless riffs, ominous melodies and unearthly growls, and old school death with its chaotic, screeching guitar solos the likes of Morbid Angel.

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