The Negative Bias open up black metal imagination, cosmic beasts with smothering ‘Lamentations…’

Late autumn and early winter are the perfect settings to spend some time gazing into the night sky. The daylight hours become as scarce as they are all year long. The cold and desolation always seem to be around you, as everything in nature goes dormant, and above our heads opens into a majestic black canvas.

That’s a reason why this is the season to indulge in black metal. It mixes perfectly with the natural aesthetics, and it just sounds great when out in the cold, at night, when the sky is your only other entertainment. Look, it’s not that weird. I take walks when it’s dark, just around the neighborhood, and the darker, more melodic the metal, the better, and I’ve recently added The Negative Bias to that rotation. Their debut record “Lamentations of the Chaos Omega” is another late-year gem on which you should not sleep. The brainchild of I.F.S. (formerly of Alastor, who handles vocals, lyrics, and concepts), he is joined on the record by (of Golden Dawn and Wallachia, who helps with instrumentation), and studio drummer Florian Musil (the live version of the band is a different version altogether), the project looks into the cosmos and tests the ideas of hatred, the limits of humankind, and what type of beasts might lie beyond this simple realm.

“The Golden Key to a Pandemonium Kingdom” lets winds woosh in before the black metal storm begins, and the drums blast a hole in the serenity. Melodies flood over and enrapture before a folkish chorus blends in, giving off an Enslaved feel, before the pace storms heavily again. From there, the waters are punishing, the words are released in a spirited manner, and we’re back headlong into the tidal wave. “Journey Into the Defleshed Paradise” starts with whispery dialog before the song tears open, the piece ruptures, and the basslines blacken eyes. Grisly growls meet up with playing that warps your mind, as things go into creaky atmospherics before cold, clean guitars arrive and wash things away. “Tormented by Endless Delusions” is devastating out front, as speed strikes and the growls are deadly. The guitars create spirals and bring even more spaciness, and later, the music gets weirder and splatters, the playing is delirious, and things end suddenly at a pit of noise.

“The Undisclosed Universe of Atrocities” begins in a clean, eerie corner, taking its time to get started and setting up an ambiance. Then the track explodes, as terse growls ramble forward, and the band thrashes away. Classic strains of black metal bleed in, as the song becomes mean and nasty, a glorious fury comes to the forefront, and the track’s blood chills in its veins. “Cryptic Echoes From Beyond Dimensions” simmer in odd noise, as a long intro is dashed with dialog, the sounds of war send a blast, and the track heads into deep agony. Deeply sung chants haunt to your core, and this weird mostly instrumental track slows to its end. Closer “And Darkness Should Be the End of Cosmic Faith” drops a bomb immediately, as the song crushes bones before acoustics suddenly head in and establish a different environment. Out of that, the song grows defiant, as the band hammers away, and the melodies lap. Singing slips underneath the murk, as strains of melodic death burst, and then noises bubble to the surface. A grisly assault returns, bringing fire and destruction, as gigantic slices are cut into the earth, and the track slips into that forever.

The Negative Bias combine old-school black metal aesthetics with a sense of atmosphere that sweeps across the ages on “Lamentations of the Chaos Omega.” Their sense of majesty and power can get inside of you and help you wonder what other great terrors could exist beyond this world. Gaze into the cold, wintry night sky long enough, and you might see them coming if they ever decide the strike.

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