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Basalte > Vestige > Reviews > PhilosophicalFrog
Basalte - Vestige

Frog Legs 1: Crawling With Purpose - 85%

PhilosophicalFrog, June 7th, 2016

Basalte are a black metal band from Montreal that specialize in incredible evocative and sprawling music, and Vestige is an exercise in making huge music with very little. There's something entirely unique about Basalte all the while remaining swathed in the cloak of black metal tradition - you have tremolo, blasting, shrieks and growls, but accompanying those standard elements is amazing musicianship, talented song-writing, and an incredible sense of atmosphere and structure. They also seem to wear the screamo/post-hardcore influences on their sleeves, with their serpentine riffs crawling about all the while retaining a very evocative and emotional melody and atmosphere. Some moments on this album feel straight off of a City of Caterpillar demo, while others could be ripped straight from a Panopticon album (which, if you read my review, is a very good thing).

Each member plays with such an organic delivery that the chemistry created sounds so natural and flowing. "Luminaire" just effortlessly glides into the listener's ears with moments that are both equally intimidating and inviting - the screaming solo in this song is utterly devastating, while the drums create this giant wall of sound that just crushes the listener under emotional weight. "Obtuse" is an absolute monster of a song that echos both the Cascadian boys as well as a distinctly nihilistic sound. At sixteen minutes it never gets boring, and in fact, easily commands the listener's attention with its ever changing tempos, spiraling guitars and general sense of mania. The vocals are sparse on this track and when they are used, they truly come forth with dread, sounding like a more organic and less insane version of Deathspell Omega and a much meaner version of Wolves in the Throne Room.

All three tracks are well worth your time, and this album is something that should be revisited time and time again. A real standout for modern black metal - and one that doesn't rely on gimmicks or an anti-gimmick/modern stance. A manic ride through caverns and abandoned buildings, one that when finished will leave you truly affected.