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A torturous journey in the abyss. - 90%

Kheygo, January 14th, 2016

I've always seen Leviathan as a black metal project. More precisely, as an ambient black metal project. But when Jef Whitehead (a.k.a. Wrest) said he isn't making black metal anymore, after hearing this album, I must agree with the man. Scar Sighted, as whole, sounds more like death metal. Of course, tracks like "Gardens of Corprolite" are still black metal as hell. But if you hear the whole thing, this sounds more like a death metal album with elements of doom, drone and noise, which is quite a shift from Leviathan's usual style.

Brutal low-end riffs, low-pitched growls and dissonant passages are just some of the chaos this album provides, and it shows exactly how it is more focused on death metal, and not purely on black metal. The thing Leviathan has that no other project caused in me, is making me, actually, afraid to hear a record and, also, the sense of despair and sadness its albums bring up. For example, in this record we have "Dawn Vibration", which is the perfect example of how Leviathan can scare you to death, but also bring up some emotions you don't think could be brought up by any type pf music. The song is full of excelent riffs and drumming, but the cherry on top of the cake is in the middle of the song, when Wrest starts strumming these chords in the background and screaming his lungs out. You can feel exactly what that tormented soul is feeling through that part of the song. All the pain, agony and despair. Its so clear that you can almost see it. This is one of the main elements that makes this project so exciting and different from the others. Its emotions are not forced. It's almost as Wrest was really hurting himself to record those vocals, because it all sounds so natural and organic. It's a really desperating experience for the listener, in a good way.

As I've said before, black metal is still present, but not alone, and less apparent. Wrest gives us other elements that, wisely, uses the black metal as a tool to create an even more terrifying atmosphere. It's not like usual. It's not black metal using other genres and different elements to create an ambience, it's the other way around. Whitehead is experimenting with other genres, and making them the main meal, while using black metal to make this whole thing creepy as hell. One of Jef Whitehead's greatest traits is his ability to take these slow moments to put the listener in pure agony and despair, in the most primitive way possible. Like in the title-track, for example, "Scar Sighted". While I was listening to this track, I constantly kept looking behind to see if anyone was there, just like on "Dawn Vibration". The first 7 minutes of this track made me kind of paranoid. It's so distressful to hear this soul screaming in my pain directly into my ears, but then, the despair is finished, and we're once again brutalized by supersonic riffs and the track turns into a blasting black metal song and a fades away. The difference in this album from the previous Leviathan material, is that black metal, now, is just a side-kick. There are many other things in this album to freak us out, and that's what makes it so special and unique.

Overall, this is the kind of album that deserves multiple listens. Not only to admire this dark, twisted and terrifying piece of pure art, but to also absorb all its content. This is a very, very dense record and Jef Whitehead managed to compile every great thing he has ever done into a single record. This is arguably the best album Leviathan has ever put out, and is one of my favorite releases of this year in music, in general. This record rises to the most brutal session of torture, then is left to agonize in a clautrophobic chamber and then, finally, slowly, perishes into the a river of tortured souls, writhing eternally.

Best tracks: "The Smoke Of Their Torment", "Dawn Vibration", "Within Thrall", "Scar Sighted", "All Tongues Towards" and "Aphonos"