Monday, October 12, 2009

Alpthraum - Path of Nothingness [DEMO] (2009)

Path of Nothingness is a free demo which can you download from Alpthraum's MySpace page. It's 12 minutes length features two tracks from this new Canadian band, who perform a style of ambient black not entirely departed from the styles of a Leviathan or Xasthur. Raunchy, decrepit black metal with gut tearing vocals that rambles among passages of wondrous ambient sewage.

"Silent Screams from the Deep Psyche" opens with a moment of subterranean swamp-like atmosphere, with some screams, chatter and other noise embedded deep within. Then a section of disgusting black metal before the track returns to a swelling ambience, and back again. Though creepy and effective enough, I wasn't feeling the metal riffs as I was the band's penchant for disturbing background noise. "From the Womb to the Scars of Isolation" has some better, if more familiar, riffing which plays well against the thriving madness of the reverb. The more punishing rhythms to follow cast all the proper shadows and as the song slows for some dischord, the band really seems to hit their stride.

Path of Nothingness sounds appropriately cruel and unforgiving, true to the demo's cover art (which is great, alongside the band's logo). The more of this ambient/black metal crossover the better in my opinion, and while Alpthraum may have some distance before arriving at the abyssal crossroads of the genre's pioneer's, the demo has some potential. I think they are spot on with their dark ambient parts, I just think the riffing could be more interesting. At any rate, I will be paying attention to their future efforts. The demo is FREE, so there is no excuse to skip it if you fancy this strain of black metal.

Verdict: Indifference [6.5/10]

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