Averse Sefira - Tetragrammatical Astygmata - 4/5
Before I get going with my comments on the album the reader should be made aware of 2 things: 1) I am still a bit of a n00b when it comes to metal in general; 2) when I do listen to Black Metal, I like it raw. With that in mind let`s get going:
I know what a drag it is to read a 5 page review, so I`ll try to keep it short. The album kicks off (as all respectable Black Metal albums should) with a minute-long intro that, admittedly, becomes frustrating after the 2nd listen - an evil-sounding nik-nak to tantilise the listener for what`s to come, but nothing to get excited about. But soon after the 'assault on your senses' (I hope my phrasing is BM-cliché enough) begins when the eerie, warped sounds of "Exordium" (the intro) explodes into avalanche-sounds of "Detonation". The listener is swept away by a rain of purcussion and general noise which more or less gives one an idea of what`s to follow.
The rest of the album is equally raw and aggressive and even borders on predictable at times. No "luring into false sense of security" is ever experienced in this album - it`s just one big, aggressive mess of extremeness, but this is not necessarily a bad thing as one will be forced to want to listen to more after hearing the first song. Where some parts focus solely on creating a raw, demonic atmosphere even at the cost of intelligebility, i.e. "Cremation of Ideologies" which kicks off with Wrath Sathariel Diabolus screaming like only a unhappy toddler (haha) could, others have a clear melodic, albeit metallic and distorted, quality (think Vivaldi with distorted electric guitars and a drummer).
Sanguine Mapsama`s guitarring is pretty standard, with nothing really standing out as exceptionally good or bad, but a good overall effort that actually becomes quite catchy at times; the drumming is used to much avail to create an aggressive atmosphere that would make any Sunday-school teacher fall off his chair; the bass is... inaudible and, finally, the vocals: some excellently executed schreeches and screams puts one under the impression that something very bad is going to happen very soon.
One down-side of the album is the fact that you have to turn the volume up to the very maximum to get the full effect, as the production has rendered the album very soft - something which you will regret when another, louder album starts playing before you have time to turn down the volume.
I really like this band, it may not be the best thing out there but it gets the job done and very much so. So all hail to one of a very few American Black Metal albums that`s actually worth getting.
Highlights: Helix In Audience, Cremation of Ideologies.