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Misotheist > Misotheist > Reviews > Abscondescentia
Misotheist - Misotheist

Next-door orthodoxy - 64%

Abscondescentia, April 2nd, 2024

Misotheist is a band mostly drenched into the unknown, as the line-up was kept secret until 2023, when it was revealed to be a side project of vocalist Brage Kråbøl, also the founder of Enevelde. The band released three albums so far, and due to limited touring and discography, they're still an emerging name in the business. All their albums have the same exact characteristics: all clocking around 30-39 minutes, having three lengthy tracks and revolving over familiar orthodox/religious black metal stylings akin to Deathspell Omega, Ondskapt and the Icelandic scene, particularly Misþyrming. Unlike the other two, however, the band's self-titled 2018 debut album was recorded in standard E tuning only.

Opener Carriers of Captivity opens with incessant blast-beating and droning, minimal E/A low-chord minimal tremolos akin to Burzum, Drudkh and Funeral Mist, over which growling vocals, lead guitar harmonies and distant keyboards pop up in the mix without taking precedence: four minutes in, a beatless, guitar-only section with dissonant, improvised chording gives some rest before exploding once more, first with slower grooves and then with a final blast-beating onslaught with a more complex riff than the opening one. Beast and Soil features a funereal folk-sounding intro with chiming clean guitar chiming and mandolin leads over a background synth line, before unleashing even more E/A tremolo drones, turning more melodic and with post-rock harmonies near the end. Closer Blood of Rats starts with slow, chromatic E droning with irregular 7/4 patterns, turning into more regular time meter 2 minutes in and changing in dynamics with a single guitar around the sixth minute: for the rest, sounds pretty much indistinguishable to the other two tracks.

Production is far less discernible here than on later albums, as the fog-like mass of sound features slight imperfections, in rumbling frequencies that go in saturation (especially the double-bass drumming sections) and background buzz in the guitar due to less-than-ideal plugins. A frankly modest release, especially when compared with their following ones, it contains more minimal open-string droning harmonies, songwriting naivety and repetitive patterns to impress much. Granted, Misotheist will probably never become a big name in orthodox black metal, but their later musical progression since this immature debut is pretty much evident.