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Lifeless Gaze > The Unbearable Darkness of Being > Reviews > Tomek8754
Lifeless Gaze - The Unbearable Darkness of Being

Almost unlistenable. Almost. - 70%

Tomek8754, June 9th, 2022
Written based on this version: 2018, Digital, Independent

Lifeless Gaze duo, after a year since the release of "The Pain Rises Within Flesh", returned with their second full-length album. The new work of Michal and Neithan was entitled "The Ubearable Darkness of Being" and contained four, lasting altogether almost an hour (!) tracks, thrown into the drawer of depressive black/doom metal. My review is based on the digital version of the release, in which, apart from the numbers themselves, we can find a high-quality cover artwork - it's a pity that the "package" doesn't include a printable insert, but apparently you can't have everything. The album also received a physical release, but in a very limited edition: Zły Demiurg made 66 cassette tapes, and the fans of CDs had to fight for one of 33 pieces of this medium.

The music created by M and N is neither easy nor pleasant - it requires from the listener a large dose of concentration and the right mood. For some, it may be a mere noise, for others - a door leading to the real "Twilight Zone". I, in order to increase the probability of getting absorbed in those disturbing sounds, listened to "The Ubearable Darkness of Being" only at night and with headphones on - I must admit, it was an extremely... disturbing. If I were to compare what I heard to something, two names come to mind for sure: American Sun O))) and Norwegian Ulver from the time of "Perdition City". So we get extremely minimalistic, hypnotic compositions, under the sign of dark ambient, but in which pulsates additionally evil, black metal heart.

The opening track "We are Born to Suffer" welcomes the listener with a heavily distorted guitar, which will be a certain hallmark of the album: similar noisy parts can also be heard in "The Unbearable Darkness of Being" and "Life Equals Zero". A simple riff in each of these tracks will be repeated so long, until it sticks in our brains and puts us in an almost "trance" state. And I would swear that once we get into this playing, let ourselves be hypnotized by these sounds, from time to time the riff is played a bit not in the rhythm, in order to pull us out of the mood. Well, in the end it can be too easy, can't it? Underneath all this guitar "rumbling" ominous drums are coming out, as if from some dark ritual, and in the background we can also hear disturbing, undefined sounds bordering on noise - all this creates quite an eerie mixture.

The exception is the third number in the tracklist, namely "Never-Ending Void". Here we are dealing with a completely electronic piece, devoid of traditional metal instruments: it's almost a ten-minute ambient composition, with Michael's screaming, painful vocals. While I got completely absorbed in this song, although others may collide with it like with a wall. It is impossible to review "The Unbearable Darkness of Being" without stopping for a longer moment at the mentioned "singing". N's vocals here are hysterical, even insane - Neithan's short, depressive lyrics are delivered in a way that violates our comfort zone at times. In "Never-Ending Void", his unpleasant high-pitched squeals are even looped, as if we were dealing with another instrument. Only in two parts of the album does he stop this madness a bit: in the end of "The Unbearable Darkness of Being" and "Life Equals Zero", where melorecitations appear.

Evaluation of such an album as "The Unbearable Darkness of Being" is a real conundrum, because it is an exceptionally specific creation. Varg Vikernes in one of the interviews said that black metal performed by Burzum was supposed to be a contrast to more and more polished, same-sounding releases flooding the music market. Following this line of thought, one can say that Lifeless Gaze's black metal is already a kind of anti-music: devoid of typical construction, noisy, created in such a way as to make listening it unpleasant, arousing anxiety. It is definitely not an album for everyone, but it is also not for anyone, as such niche playing has its followers. I was drawn into this sick world of musicians known from Useless and I am curious what the gentlemen M and N will do on their next release. I also wonder how this whole chaos would sound live in a dark club, with dark, occult surroundings...

Originally written for www.metalside.pl