Annihilus – Ghanima
Annihilus are, for all intents and purposes, a black metal band, however this project from Luca Cimarusti takes in much more than the usual traits of the genre to create an interesting debut with Ghanima. With influences ranging from Frank Herbert’s Dune to grunge and noise rock, Annihilus is much more than the sum of its parts. Opening on “Epilogue,” Ghanima sets out its manifesto and overloaded, fuzzy vocals that Cimarusti screeches out from behind guitars that hold melody but only if you’re actively searching for it in amongst the debris of the noise.
“Matthew” carries a heady groove that wouldn’t sound out of a place on a punk record and a lot of the songs carry this influence with them along the way – Annihilus are clearly not bound by genre constraints and while that could cause confusion in the melding of several different elements, it is pulled off pretty well overall.
“Doctor of Beasts” moves away from metal structure and instead aims for a more dungeon synth approach in its bright melody and spoken word lyrics and it contrasts sharply with the noisy aggression of “Destroy the Future.” Twisted vocal lines wrap themselves in shadows and move against guitars that radiate pain in the feedback that is produced, giving a doomed nuance to the song and allowing Annihilus to explore further their myriad of influences. Ghanima is an interesting debut and one which should give Annihilus the base on which to build their unique vision of what modern black metal really is.
Listen and purchase here.
Entropy Created Consciousness – Antica Memoria di Dis: Acheron / Lethe
Where to start with this epic double release from the unnamed entity behind Entropy Created Consciousness? With the sickly, Americana influenced groove of “The Sun is Silent” that opens the first side Acheron? The echoing synths of “Minos/Cerberus” that play into the gothic atmosphere of the song? The blackened and doomed edges of “Judecca?” Or the fact that the album, as a whole, is a fiery journey into hell and follows Dante’s descent as per Inferno, and the path that must be travelled in order to begin the process of saving one’s soul?
The literary scope is felt keenly through Acheron, and indeed Lethe (the second side), as Entropy Created Consciousness takes us far below the surface of the poem and deeper into the psyche of one cast into the pits of hell taking in black metal, doom, ambient and industrial along the way. The record moves into darker territory as the journey progresses with “Malignant, Ashen” reaching further into the pitch black corners to bring forth a filthy, torn vocal that, while lies hidden behind strong guitar movements, begins to coil itself around the melodies and creates a tangible sense of unease as the song slithers its way to the uncomfortable spoken word approach of “Below The Tower.”
“Infamy of Crete” sets an industrial tone in opening Lethe with heady drums that cut through the charged atmosphere with mechanical sounds that serve to bring an almost inhuman approach to the song. That alien aspect is built on vocals that are practically indecipherable in that a deliberate decision has been to overprocess and affect their voice (Dante Alighieri is listed as contributing to the text so the assumption is that Entropy Created Consciousness has taken passages from the poem to create lyrics) in order to truly separate themselves from their reality as a human and their membership of this band.
“Judecca” closes Lethe and by extension, Antica Memoria di Dis on much more overtly black metal sounds as the guitars ramp up the pace and shrieks blossom in the darkest of spaces left by the discordant synthesised organs and choral structures. The atmosphere that is generated here is one of dread; Entropy Created Consciousness has fully immersed themselves in this unholy world and wants to bring you to a similar sense of acceptance of one’s fate and sins.
Esoctrilihum – F’htansg
Esoctrilihum have been pretty prolific since the band came to light three short years ago – sole member Asthâghul has already released five full-lengths in that time and there is already the promise of a new record to come early next year. So, F’htansg, a three track EP that dropped on Halloween is hardly a surprise but that doesn’t make it any less exciting.
The songs here are more rough and ready than the polish of Eternity of Shaog and there is definitely a sense of “these are kinda just for fun” in terms of the overall production quality. However, the songs are very strong and they move from the doomy and synth-led structures of the title track which opens the EP, to the bizarre ecclesiastical movements of “Sustutgrielh L’ayhs” to “Lugalugkuh” and its wonderfully sorrowful guitar sound and frenetic drumwork.
“F’htansg” is an interesting side-step in the Esoctrilihum sound as it encompasses a more mournful sound in that doom is the most overarching influence on display The spooky synth elements certainly adds that classic Esoctrilihum sheen to the song but the funereal progressions are an intriguing addition and one that the band hopefully leans more into going forward.
The EP is ravaged with darkness and through the echoing vocals Asthâghul, which are both fascinating and murky in equal measure, Esoctrilihum creates a space where the old gods can be channelled – “Sustutgrielh L’ayhs” preaches its bleakness through climbing synthesised horn sections and curious choral arrangements, its ceremony one that is held in the pitch black crevices of the mind. It is frankly terrifying at times and the gloom encroaches as the EP moves towards the finality of chaos with “Lugalugkuh.”
Listen and purchase here.