Monday, October 21, 2013

Aosoth – IV: Arrow In Heart

I've had this one in the stack of things to listen to for a while now.  Ok, it's all digital, so its not really a stack, it's a folder on my laptop.  Anyway, I recently read a review of their performance at this year's Maryland Death Fest which referred to Aosoth creating an atmosphere that felt like the Dark Lord himself was in the room during their set.  As that kind of shit is right up my alley, I figured it was probably time to give this a listen.

Color me very happy that I listened.  This is grade A black metal.  This is the good stuff.  And as  I've talked about before, its no surprise that this is French black metal.  This is very atmospheric music, and the atmosphere sure as hell isn't sunshine and lollipops.  I swear the temperature in my room dropped 20 degrees when I put this album on.  I don't know what is going on in France that causes so many awesome black metal bands to reside there, but I may have to move.  I lived in Montreal for a couple of years, I can parlez vous a little Francais.

The album leads off with the title track, all tri-toney and evil sounding.  It's just a simple, repetitive riff but it just buzzes around all angry sounding and sets the mood.  The track that really grabbed me by the throat though was the third one, “Temple Of Knowledge”.  I'm not sure what it is, and I'm not sure I want to know what it is about this song, but it really got under my skin in that really good way that only a miserable sounding song can.  You know what I mean, like it gives you the creeps and makes you feel alive in a way that few things can?  These guys are really, really, really good at writing music, and performing said music, that really puts across a feeling.  This is not an album that you just casually play in the background.  This is an album that demands your attention.  It also rewards that attention with some of the better black metal I have heard in 2013.

Track 4, “Under Nails and Fingertips”, continues the nastiness.  I'm pretty sure this took me to a foul, dingy, crypt of a room somewhere, with an odor of old blood and violence.  Vile things sit in the corners and you kinda want to see what's there, but at the same time you hope the light doesn't shine too brightly into those corners.  This is good. 

There are a couple of tracks that follow that are clips of dialog from what I assume are movies, along with some pretty tasty riffs, and then the album wraps up with “Ritual Marks of Penitence”, a fantastic, long, grimy way to close out the festivities.  I've already got a man crush on several French black metal bands and these guys just got added to the list in a big way.  This isn't just a bunch of cliches parading around, not just a bunch of blast beats and tremolo picking and growling, shrieking vocals.  All of that is here, but there is so much more on this album.  This is just absolute brilliance captured for our enjoyment.  Make sure you give it a listen.


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