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All righty, first things first, I feel I need to clarify that the only thing that's keeping A World in Their Screams from receiving full points is the lyrics. They are un-mommy-fudging believable. They make anything ever written by pretty much any metal band (Agalloch included) look like words scripted by Barney the Purple Dinosaur, whose greatest hits include such wonderful tunes as 'I love you, you love me', as well as 'Bumping Up and Down (My Little Red Wagon)'. Seriously, this is stuff that would make *insert ye olde fashioned poet of choice here* blush. Unfortunately, they are exclusively in French. Yes, you can download the complete lyrics in English from Elend's website, but I still feel like I'm missing an important piece of the overall picture that Elend is painting here. So until I learn French, a 98% this will remain. Onwards.
Really, there are only an odd minute of this cd that you will need to hear before you will submit to it's awesomeness. It's the first minute of track 7, 'Stasis', and it is by far the best musical passage of the year, for those pansies who keep track of this sorta thing. I know I do. 2006's was the chorus of Katatonia's 'Journey Through Pressure', 2005's was the tribal section about a minute in a half into Opeth's 'Ghost of Perdition'. Yes. I am a massive pansy, but anyway...just give that Stasis song a listen. If you don't like it, we can ascertain three very important things. (One) - You are an even bigger pansy-girly-man than me, (Two) you have no soul, and (Three) You will likely not enjoy any other part of this cd.
Those with curiousity and souls may proceed.
As the informed already know and the uninformed will soon find out, A World in Their Screams is actually part thrix and final of Elend's 'Winds Cycle', which began with the supoib 'Winds Devouring Men', continued with the groovilicious but not quite as depressing 'Sunwar the Dead'. If you've only heard those two albums from this band, then 'A World...' will likely come as a surprise to you. It has far more in common with Elend's earlier work, in particular the (un)godly, haunting, downright evil nightmare ingredient, and incredibly rare (we're talkin' 200 bucks on Amazon rare) The Umbersun. Easily the most unsettling cd that I know exists (yeah, waaaay more unsettling and waaaaaaay less gay than anything Stallagh ever has and ever will put out. Gay-tush Stallagh fudge packers, says I). And while 'A World...' is overall not quite as difficult a listen, it comes dangerously close, and at some points even surpasses The Umbersun (you'll know it when you hear it, and feel the warm blood sloshing about in your ears).
But what of the music itself?
Well, atmospherically, it could best be described as mechanically despondent, but it's more than that, because at the same time it will often draw you in with unexpected softness and warmth, and then spit you out in a storm of razor blades and needles.
There are no geetars present here, it should definitely be noted. There aren't any traditional drums either. Just a whole lot of tribal and...unconventional percussion. Nothing that could be put together behind even Neil Peart's or Hellhammer's drumkit.
Instead of these usual suspects, we have, as sayeth the lyrics booklet, violins, violas, cellos, basses, clarinets, trumpets, french horns, a trombone, and a bass trombone, as well as 'orchestral percussion' and 'industrial devices'. As well as a poop load of synths that are so well done that there is no way you'd be able to tell they were synths unless you already knew otherwise (and now you do!).
It's a thing of beauty, and it's amazing how often these intruments are used to bring to mind French BM bands like Katharsis and Deathspell Omega (countrymen of Elend). It's more brilliant than diarrhea, and a whole lot less messy.
So, like, there's not really much else I can say...let's see...true to it's title, the album contains a whole lot of screaming...a whole lotta other assorted voices, doing various disturbing things....and uh...yeah, it doesn't rock, because that's not what this sort of music does, but it DOES kill...or at least, inspire one to kill oneself.
And there ya go. Buy it or die of deprivation. Buy it and die of depression. Win/win situation, eh?