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Astonishing - 99%

WinterBliss, June 4th, 2008

What we have here is a standalone release of Leviathan's split with Sapthuran. I'm happy to see this as a standalone because it's one of Leviathan's finest moments, and has enough material to be on its own. Beyond the fact that the ep is superb, it is the use of acoustic drums that really solidifies this ep for me as Leviathan's best ep.

Structurally speaking this is one of Wrest's most intricate and enthralling groupings of songs. Songs like Odious Convulsions and Crushing The Prolapsed Oviducts Of Virture contain strong juxtapositions of more somber and atmospheric passages with more raging and ravenous sections. Beyond stark contrasts are the sheer amounts of melody and passion, The Fourth Blind Wound exemplifies this perfectly with a beautiful riff and synth combo at around 2:30 which are matched up flawlessly with Wrests wailing tortured screams. I could go on for pages talking about every nuance of each song, and how awesome they are, but I'll spare you.

Another phenomenal aspect, that's always present with Leviathan, but done perfectly here is the instrumentation. Not only does Wrest write great riffs, and destroys the kit like he normally does, the bass work is top notch. If you listen to The Fourth Blind Wound around 4:38 the bass shines through playing a great riff. There is so much depth to this release, whether it's the echoing wails, the layers of guitars, the ethereal synth or the thudding bass, this ep has a lot to listen to. Vocally speaking, I think this is Wrest’s finest hour. In songs like Crushing The Prolapsed Oviducts Of Virture they are distant and harrowing and while in other they are raspy and venomous.

Production wise this album is flawless, everything can be heard very well, not to say it’s clean but it is well organized. The guitars are fuzzy but distinct, the perfect tone for this release in my mind, and all the other instruments and effects are woven seamlessly together.

My only gripe with this release is the beginning of Odious Convulsions, never really liked it. Beyond the few minutes that I wasn't blown out of my seat, this release flows great. You get four of your standard Leviathan fare along with one exceptional ambient track. The ep begins with a harsh, discombobulating plunge and ends with calming and, well, as the title states, mesmerizing slumber.

I recommend this to any fan of extreme metal; it's a great place to start with Leviathan, and a great release regardless of genre.