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Potential, but marred by its production - 67%

Briefist, May 12th, 2018
Written based on this version: 2018, CD, Soundage Productions

L'Homme Absurde's second full-length has seen the light of day in March and the four men from Moskou seem to want to imply they're here to stay. Playing an energetic variant of the post-black genre, the band isn't afraid to stray off the beaten path and delve into techniques and dynamics not often heard in this genre that's getting more and more crowdy. Progressive touches keep dynamics interesting and while the songwriting is hardly concise and to the point, the longer compositions move organically and rarely feel forced.

While debut 'Monsters' slipped my attention back in 2016 (possibly due to a massive amount of great music that year). it set a decent framework retrospectively; progressive post-black with an uncharacteristic need for aggressive intensity instead of the dreary, the moody and the melodramatic. Now what also gets immediately obvious is the DIY-ness on the production side of things and the new record 'Sleepless' is no different in that regard. Such production values might fly if you're Burzum or literally any shoegaze band, but if your music can get quite a bit more intricate it simply doesn't carry enough weight. Granted, this album clearly wasn't recorded with a half-baked potato (looking at you, Darkthrone), but the glaring flaws in the guitar, drum and vocal production and general editing do take away from enjoying this album to its full potential.

Aside from the mixing and awful editing at times (the sudden and jarring fade out on opener 'Cleansing the Temple' is a great example of how not to end a song), the vocals also drag this album down. Front man and vocalist A. (previously the sole member of the project) screams his bland lines with little to no dynamics and his technique leaves much to be desired in terms of range and variety. It's quite a shame because a strong vocal presence would've added massively to the atmosphere the band otherwise seems to nail most of the time. I'm sincerely hoping the band manages to stay on top of their musical direction and gets to flesh out their sound with a better production and a different vocal approach.

Originally reviewed for Lords of Metal in May 2018, edited and adapted in May 2018