By: Keith Joshua Ham
Aethyr | facebook | bandcamp |
Released on February 19, 2015 via Cimmerian Shade Recordings
My thoughts on this newer wave of blackened progressive/doom have actually been extremely positive (funny considering the content of bands like Aethyr is ripe with negativity). Whereas the wavering popularity of blackgaze didn’t really spawn too many great acts, though some obviously did stand out to make it so prominent for a time there, bands that are taking such a slow and methodical approach to their expressions of misery and alienation really seem to stick out to me. Better yet, if a band is capable of expressing the intended emotion without even speaking a single word of English (because I never got the chance to learn a foreign language) I find that a significant accomplishment.
The thunderous and poisonous pace of every track simply crushes you like something of a lo-fi cousin to Triptykon. Guitars whine and howl, filling ambient spaces with haunting sounds before the whole song drops on your head like a oncoming bout of severe depression. I kid you not, listen to the title track and you will truly experience what I’m talking about here. Oddly, the entire album features abrupt, yet fitting, tempo changes that segway into moments reminiscent of something you’d hear from Immortal. It’s a lot to digest but completely worth listening to. The language barrier means absolutely nothing either, with all the lyrics being in fluent Russian. Every ounce of despair and dread Aethyr was trying to achieve shines straight through the tone and progression. I have no doubts that Corpus could be one of the best black metal/sludge/doom records of this year – this being their 7th output, clearly Aethyr has been working towards something so colossal.
Nothing really screams flaw with this release, oddly. It seems as though Aethyr took every precaution as to make as sharp and focused of an album they could. Some would say that black metal is, in fact, supposed to be a flawed and broken genre, but I don’t honestly see even those people having something to say about this album.
I find it odd when I can’t pick up a flaw, especially with any black or blackened releases, but in this case it’s a welcome escape from tin-can recording and endless reverberation. I like it when I can sit down and like the entirety of an album – and, with Aethyr’s Corpus, I do.