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Wrest assured, 'tis a good one! - 75%

crypticmyth, June 11th, 2008

Massive Conspiracy Against All Life? What kind of a name is that? I wonder whether it has something to do with all the d00ds from McDonald's peeing into our food. Regardless of the dull name, Wrest brings forth a very lively album. The first thing you notice when the opening track Vesture Dipped In The Blood Of Morning erupts is that the production has gotten cleaner by more than a few notches. Also, its clear that a real drumkit was used on most of the tracks this time - which sounds great, despite being low in the mix. But the most noticeable aspect is that Wrest has been taking French lessons.

There are all sorts of riffs on this album. Many atonal/dissonant/convoluted/offbeat riffs (which were never as pronounced or as chaotic in the older albums) throng the album, and I believe this is attributable to black metal darlings, Deathspell Omega and their now-forgotten brethren Blut Aus Nord. Some of them even bring to mind names like Immolation , which shows the diversity on the album. There are less ambient/clean moments than on Tentacles Of Whorror but the ones that are present are engaging for the most part. These too bear a resemblance with some of the quieter passages produced by the aforementioned French bands (Procession Of Dead Clowns and Kenose I came to mind when I heard the 13 minute, Noisome Ash Crown). Apart from these, you have your standard tremolo picked riffs to keep the old-school touch which was always featured on the past catalog. But all of these are densely layered and have all sorts of twisted notes hanging above them like sharply cut pieces of glass on an already vicious wall of sound. These piercing riffs are interspersed with the dirge-like, doomy riffs that Leviathan are known for.

Wrest is a talented person alright. The drumming on the album is top notch - the best it has ever been. The vocals aren't nearly as acidic as they were on the previous albums and are quite low in the mix, comparatively. Again, a DsO influence, one can say. This maybe a problem for some of you, but I had no issues with it. Another departure from the previous albums, the familiar lush bass sound is nowhere to be found, nor are the in-your-face bass lines, which was a negative. Summing up, if you've never heard any of Wrest's previous efforts then this is as good a place to start as any. This is supposed to be Leviathan's last album (due to differences with Moribund), and Wrest will concentrate solely on Lurker Of Chalice (which I happen to be a greater fan of) from now on. Well, Massive Conspiracy Against All Life is a definite high point to end on for a band that will go down as a great in USBM history.

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