Omnimalevolence by Skrying Mirror

Release date: March 3, 2023
Label: I, Voidhanger Records

I, Voidhanger and abhorrent audial hellscapes from abyssal depths go hand in hand and fairly recent abomination Skrying Mirror is that epitomised. Created by prolific Finland-based American musician Matron Thorn (Ævangelist, Benighted In Sodom etc) sometime a few years ago, the band only have one release to their name, Garden of Ecstatic Violence, a 14 minute EP you’ve likely never heard of, lost in the Bandcamp void.

Skrying Mirror play loud, oppressive metal drowned in utter black despair. A dreaded cacophony or torturous noise, harmful and disorientating to some, pure blackened avant-garde bliss to others. Featuring Kevin Yearout (Witchbones, Conduit Of Chaos) who provides the malefic and gutteral vocals and Manuel Garcia of Blattaria and Ævangelist on drums, debut album Omnimalevolence has finally been unleashed.

Opener ‘Naught’ sets the tone as you’re immediately suffocated in swarming dissonance and clattering percussion. It’s immediately evident how viscous-black and thick with clawing dread their claustrophobic wall of sound is. The ominous drag of ‘Temptress’ builds on doom-laden riffs and swaying rhythms, gradually swirling into a chaotic and busy maelstrom of irregular string-work that bleeds into the more visceral tempest of ‘Famine’.

The utterly insidious ‘Intravenous’ slithers slowly through angular, plodding strings that cry melancholy. The monotonous nature of the music is meant to suffocate you in its mire, barely changing course apart from one outburst of blastbeats. The repetitiveness of the track doesn’t lessen its venom, it just seethes in its own disturbing way. The epic ‘Failure’ concludes the album by pulling all elements together and spewing them out into your ears in an eight minute frenzy of blastbeats and cavernous, abyssal aggression. It has its moments of haunting atmosphere but is still the albums most brutal beast.

This is music to sin by. It’s brimming with joyless desolation, anvil-heavy drum beats, guttural, demonic vocals and grating, piercing guitars that torment the soul. Blastbeats come sparingly, allowing for more sinister build up, with riffs crawling in like the plague until short stabs of blasting drums surprise you from out of the darkness. On top of this all nine tracks continue on from one another making the music even more oppressive as you are crushed under its weight with no pause.

Omnimalevolence is one of, if not the best example of Thorn’s audial expression as it has a twisted way of conveying all its intricacies even though the music may sound straightforward in its similar atonality and the fact that it is one long piece. The twists and turns in the notes add a layered complexity to the music, making this an all-consuming listen. It almost has a hidden frequency that creeps through your being, a soundwave serpent that coils around your chest and asphyxiates the life out of you.

The definition of omnimalevolence is the power to be absolutely the embodiment of evil. Skrying Mirror do a damn good job of showing that on their magnificent debut.

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