Chilean destroyers Selbst bleed immersive, charring black metal on molten ‘Relatos de Angustia’

Many of our lives are immersed in chaos right now, the degree to which depends on our personal circumstances and whatever hell is circling around our heads at the moment. While trying to find a way to breathe through that and balance oneself is a healthy way to handle these matters, allowing oneself to align with the darkness and understand it can be as cathartic.

The brand of pandemonium in which Selbst immerse themselves isn’t quite the same thing, but their razor-sharp black metal could be that partner that walks with you into hell. The now Chilean-based group (they planted their initial seeds in Venezuela) fires up their engines on this new, second record “Relatos de Angustia” (translates to “stories of anguish,” which is fitting) and feels like the devastation that might encircle you so that you can align with it. This is a project helmed and created by N, though he has surrounded himself with a full live lineup (in case you’re confused as to why there are four people in the photo above), and the formula has bubbled over with even more danger and muscular, yet flexible playing than displayed on the promising 2017 self-titled debut.

“Praeludium” is an intro-style cut that has guitars awakening and generating heat, setting an ambiance that pays off with “Deafening Wailing of the Desperate Ones” where melody and fury meet. N’s vocals roar while the song continues to gain momentum, charging through the atmosphere, delivering thunderous power, and thrashing heavily until the song reaches its molten end. “The Depths of Selfishness” is scintillating when it starts as the drums mash away, and the vocals torch paths. Tornadic hell causes your stomach contents to splash around as the bass plods, and the assault ends with churning playing and corrosive wails. “Silent Soul Throes” bleeds open before it gains its footing while the bass work hammers, and N’s vocals stretch muscles. There’s a chaotic feel to everything as the track mixes into the fog, the calls let loose, and the soloing catches fire dangerously. That pushes back toward melodic circles, clobbering and turning itself into ash.

“The Weight of Breathing” erupts and is pounding you unmercifully before you even know what hit you. Throaty howls and jolting playing hit the open road, as clean warbling delivers mixes messages behind the scenes. The playing can be hypnotic at times as shrapnel flies and the intensity is raised, bringing another dose of speed on its final stretch. “Sculpting the Dirtiness of Its Existence” has a bit of a different pace when it starts, feeling moody and strange before the fires are agitated again. The vocals crush while the playing stings, bringing on a sorrowful haze that washes over the anguish, even treating some of this with a proggy edge. “Let the Pain Run Through” closes the album and almost immediately has you in its clutches, raining down blows. A progressive storm soaks the ground as synth thickens the rains, and the track enters into deep, black waves. The guitar work explodes and fills the skies while clean calls spread, and a goth-style shadow drops and envelops the world in darkness.

There is so much swirling in the air on Selbst’s second record that it practically demands repeat listens just you can unravel all the details in this thing. The easy way to approach “Relatos de Angustia” is to understand it’s a black metal record that certain knows its history but is making some dramatic sweeps of its own to apply some different DNA. It’ll eat you alive if you let it, or it’ll unveil exciting new waves of black metal if you can handle the unforgiving undercurrent.

For more on the band, go here:

To buy the album (North America), go here:

Or here (international):

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