It’s been said before, but let’s go again: Black metal is an impossible area in which to rise above the millions of bands vying for attention, and I’m convinced some artists aren’t even concerned about that. There are those who do excel, and likely it’s because they’re not trying to adhere to some sort of code, and those are the ones that create visceral experiences you don’t forget.
French black metal force Esoctrilihum, the creation of lone member Asthâghul, is one of those that has carved out a permanent section of black metal only it can inhabit, and it’s been that way from the start. They’re back with their delirious seventh record “Consecration of the Spiritüs Flesh,” easily the heaviest and most violent of the project’s eight-year run. It’s also insane Asthâghul has been so prolific over that stretch and has created such miasmal and labyrinth-creating chaos that no one ever will catch up sonically or mentally. Yet, here he is, and this album also is the shortest of the band’s run, clocking in at seven tracks and almost 41 minutes, every one of them impossibly volatile.
“Spiritüs Flesh” smears itself open as machine-gun drumming destroys, and wild howls pierce your psyche. The pace is punishing as everything comes apart, Asthâghul’s shrieks get into your bloodstream, and then things jackhammer again, strangling as everything drains out. “Thertrh” delivers igniting guitars and power that overwhelms, your mind flayed as you struggle to get a grip on reality. The playing is blinding and crazed as strange guitars blister, immersing you fully in its alien atmosphere. “Shohih” erupts and goes right for you, pushing the air from your lungs. Creaking yells meld with the relentless pace, and then growls engorge as beastly hell spreads across the earth. Strange melodies work their way into the mix, defacing with violence and speed. Shrieks continue to add to the trauma as the playing blasts into the ground, and whispery calls combine with hypnosis to finish you.
“Tharseîdhon” dawns in the midst of thrashy chaos and vicious shrieks that add insult to injury. Guitars stab as the drumming gets more propulsive, the force hammers, and eerie bells send devastating chills that melt you. “Scaricide” tears open as the playing clobbers, the gurgling growls making their way toward your comfort zone. The drums combust as the guitar work tangles and screams, plastering with a force impossible to top. Tornadic winds make standing a pointless act, the heat begins to rise, and strange forces cut in and make the room spin out of control. “Sydtg” unloads with ferocity, bringing a storm that makes your path that much more unstable. The vocals mangle as melodies entrance, keys wash over, and a gothy coldness makes its presence felt. Waters boil over and burn flesh as creaky vocals and fierce madness draw things to a close. “Aath” is the closer, teasing with noise and bringing strange tidings before the playing trudges into a disarming aura. Sections of slow-driving playing later get blended by speed and tenacity, howls peel back your flesh, and speed arrives and tears things to shreds. Drums explode, noise mars and tears flesh, and the crazed damage finally burns out into the sky.
In a flooded black metal kingdom, it’s nearly impossible to stand out as something truly unique, but Asthâghul never fails to do so with his Esoctrilihum project. “Consecration of the Spiritüs Flesh” represents the most terrifying, negativistic music of this band’s entire run, its shortest, most to-the-point record ever where every moment feels hazardous to your mental health. Esoctrilihum records always stand out, always stimulate the darkest cells in the body, and this album follows in that deadly path with a newfound bloodlust.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/people/Esoctrilihum/100027310076900/
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For more on the label go, here: http://i-voidhanger.com/