Monday, November 10, 2008

Mitochondrion - Archaeaeon (2008)

I have to give some credit here, it's not every day I hear an album so disturbing it can frighten me, yet still having an air of melodic grace. Archaeaeon is one such album, and this is one fucked up band. The Canadians offer a debut of brutal death and black metal where the rules are pretty much anything goes.

For much of the playtime, it's dense and dark death metal with multiple snarl and growl vocals over a grinding miasma of aural holocaust: brutal drumming and savage guitars. But they have moments where this ellipses into melody, or acoustics, or dark, swelling ambient. A few examples would be the center of "Into the Pit of Babel", where things slow to a crawl and the guttural vocals and snarl paint a sad mural over some acoustics and simpler drumming, before erupting into a vile blackish riff and spooky whispered vocals. "Oath in Defiance" morphs into "Descent...", a dark, minimal ambient piece which would do Mortiis proud until the doom guitars and horrific vocals layer on.

Be prepared for a very dark ride with this one, but a captivating journey nonetheless. I was at times reminded of dISEMBOWELMENT, Demilich, and early Septic Flesh, at others the wealth of bedroom black metal out there. The album has a very DIY production to it but honestly, that's the way to do something like this. Anyway, it ruined a perfectly cheery afternoon for me and I hope it can do the same for you.

Verdict: Win (8/10)

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