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Accessibly Weird - 87%

flightoficarus86, March 3rd, 2015

I’m not quite part of the inner-circle when it comes to Wrest. People have recommended plenty Leviathan to me and I have always walked away fairly indifferent. Sure, I think he is talented, but he also just fails to fully engage me. However, I do feel that Scar Sighted has managed to take me at least a step further down the rabbit hole. Between the solid production, stellar atmosphere, and gritty guitar-work; Scar Sighted is a monster to be reckoned with.

It’s funny that I’m listening to a black metal album and the best comparison I can often make is Skinny Puppy. Sure, there are plenty of minor chords and tremolos with heavy distortion, but the overall aesthetic and use of samples just screams early 90’s industrial. Good thing Too Dark Park is one of my favorite albums. Aside from the general creepiness, I also dig the weird, bendy discordant guitar work and bipolar nature of the a-melodic and melodic. Songs like “Wicked Fields” display utter chaos and abandonment of convention, while others like “Within Thrall” are filled with Mayhem-like hooks straight out of early second wave.

These switches are known to happen within the same songs well. Consider the crushing opener, “The Smoke of Their Torment” or bipolar “Gardens of Corprolite,” which ends with a very moody, effects-laden guitar lead. Moments throughout the album remind me of everything from Cultes des Ghoules’ Henbane to Deathspell Omega and Lunar Aurora. Yet Wrest manages to drag these sounds violently into strangely accessible territories with earworm hooks and morbidly fascinating dirges. Despite the plethora of indiscernible, cavernous howls and bizarre song structures, it never felt so artsy as to detract from my enjoyment. In fact, the palpable sorrow is extremely personal.

Never predictable, surprisingly enjoyable, Scar Sighted is another album not to miss in 2015. The dense, progressive fabric and obsessively ordered madness sets the bar for aspiring black metallers ever higher as the genre continues to expand and evolve. But be forewarned, it’s going to take time to truly digest this. It’s kind of like watching a David Lynch film: you know it’s something profound, but it’s not something you could come back to every day. Thankfully, Wrest has just enough handle on convention to be perhaps a bit more inviting than Polanski.

Enjoyability=8
Musicianship=9
Innovation=9