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Aosoth - 80%

Orlok666, April 8th, 2012

Aosoth, their name taken from a dark goddess/spirit of the Order of Nine Angles, presents this their first curse upon mankind. At this early stage in their career we find them creating music of an old school variation with some thrash elements. Much of this material is influenced by ONA ideas, one can grasp hold of certain lyrical themes which point to this.

I would say this release while touching upon MkM's old band Antaeus shows variation from their material. For one as I pointed out there are more aspects of thrash and old school black metal. Some ambient parts are included, but there is none of the dissonance that would go on to so greatly influence their sound.

As such, this release is more direct and aggressive then their later material. Whilst they never really lost the muscular structure that generated from their creation, this stands as a monument alone in their lifespan so far.

I like the ambient parts on here, as they offer a contrast to the envenomed attack of most of the music. The vocals are filled with spite and hate, recorded with a distorted edge, and produced without any reverb. On all of their releases MkM's vocals remain a constant, he is always a highlight.

The bass and guitars are both the most important instruments, indeed bass is produced fairly loudly on here, often being slightly cleaner then the guitars. It thickens the sound, yet stands out on its own, which is always refreshing in black metal, though increasingly becoming more common. The drums aren't as aggressively produced as on later albums. I feel they have a thinner sound on here, but they operate with consistency and always work with the music.

Riffing melds between highly aggressive sections which retain the thrash influence and touches of melodic riffing, which would be quickly thrown out by the band. Sometimes we have sections giving off that kind of old school Darkthrone feeling. These don't come too often, but show another variation in Aosoth's sound. And it must be stated variation is a great key to the success this album has. They often throw in riffs that really give it an original feeling, and keep the songwriting fresh throughout.

Overall I'd say this release, whilst being a good one, is not as great as later recordings. This is mainly due to the more traditional aspects of their sound. While I like how later albums meld tradition with progression and dissonance, this release is very much rooted in the past. I'm sure though that it was good for the band to start their career in such a place, as it gave them a starting point that had it's feet firmly in the roots of black metal.

A worthy release for anyones collection, but not quite on the level of greatness they would reach in my opinion.