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Strange but Fucking Awesome - 95%

Morbe, March 5th, 2018

This release from the American black metal godhead has new influences and expands a lot on different musical genres while maintaining the iconic darkness in Wrests music. On this album he explores dark ambient while maintaining the raw black metal sounds that signify him as an artist, which gives a strange and exaggerated blend of black metal and darker ambient or atmospheric interludes. On top of that, Wrest (being a talented artist) painted quite the collection for this album, taking lighter pale blue tones with a darker red to create images that really are telling about the album.

The blast beats and overbearing volume of the stringed instruments is present as with most of his other work, as well as the strangulated screams and howls that are so unique to Leviathan. There are some tracks where he goes really low however, pushing a low register death growl that rattles you. The best example of this is on the track: “A Veil Is Lifted” where the deep unnerving growl is paired with some slow beat and the hum of a guitar. Then the vocals quickly shoot up to a high register alongside a blast beat for a howl with more wet reverb then you can shake a stick at, which was fucking awesome.

There are yet tracks to diversify the experience, the opening track “-“ and “Within Thrall” are both really good examples of this. The opening track is short and sweet, with a soft ambient feeling to it. The introduction to “Within Thrall” sounds like some low voiced dudes doing some singing together, only to be swiftly replaced by a fast and heavy as hell black metal riff with a blast beat. The song calms down a little bit then comes back full force with Wrest belting out these mid-high range vocals that, again, rattle you.

The production on this album is as kvlt as ever, the only difference being the seemingly high produced ambient portions, or the synths that sometimes bleed into the guitar riffs at points. The overall instrumentation holds true to the low production value, a lot of lovely overbearing distortion and “thick” sound to the drums at points.

The title track: “Scar Sighted” is really powerful, imagine Burzum’s “Dunkelheit” with Leviathans pained moans in the back, slowly fading in and out of being those iconic black metal howls. The slow riff is just overbearing, at points it dies down and you can really hear the bass and the hi-hats. The song then goes back to being as kvlt as you can get. Its dark, its foreboding, its Leviathan.

Overall this is a great album from Leviathan. I really don’t have a single gripe about it. I am usually not a fan of the death metal type vocals in my black metal, or rather what I expect to be black metal. But it honestly sounds closer to Mayhems “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas” in terms of vocals which I don’t mind as much, kinda nostalgic. They definitely fit the tone of the lyrics as well. So again, great fucking album, its heavy like you expect from Leviathan just with some ambient twists and turns.