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Slightly ungainly dancer - 77%

gasmask_colostomy, April 12th, 2019
Written based on this version: 2017, Digital, More Hate Productions (Bandcamp, Remastered)

Let's be clear: for a band without much recorded music, Signist have some pretty good ideas. This lonely demo/EP/brief album (it could go any of three ways) has been revived a couple of times since the original release in 2006 and I'm sitting here with the More Hate version put out in 2017 on Bandcamp. Though apparently a remastered version, this latest edition of Of Worlds, Endtimely Enshadowed maintains a rough edge that partially helps the Russian/Kazakh duo to stand out from the familiar melodeath realm in which parts of the songs are embedded.

The first feature that really caught my attention (actually, I lie - it was the second, but I can't talk about the first one yet) was the guitar that sounds like a fucking drill that kicks off 'Stillborn Mind Reflection' after a relatively relaxing song-length introductory instrumental. Yeah, that rhythm tone will really bore into your skull, so whatever you think of my other comparisons for this effort, bear in mind that my first one was Immolation kicking the shit out of Deicide. Most of the album (I've decided, there's enough here for an album) is much more hooky and balanced, though those few bursts of heaviness keep me on my toes. The gruff tone of that drilling guitar is countered by a lighter, fluid lead tone that decorates as you would expect from Swedish melodeath. In this regard, the points of reference that come up are more obvious, occasionally dancing with lightness like early In Flames, glowering more darkly like Nightrage, or hitting suitable mid-points with the riffing as it bounces and lurchingly chugs through songs with few repeating parts.

The pay-off that Signist get from allowing catchy individual elements into the overall makeup of the album takes the form of those linear song structures. Very rarely do the band return to any given section (barely a chorus except on the closer), yet the hooky riffs will sink in by the second or third listen and leave familiar signposts, meaning the songs build up enjoyment fairly quickly without really being very accessible. Certain riffs do loiter rather longer than needed, such as some of the stuttering grooves in the overlong 'Bells of Oncoming Winter', though a memorable feature of that longest cut is how the most distasteful riff returns in altered - and indeed improved - form towards the end. However, the pitiable riff in question is accompanied by the only instance of clean vocals on the album, which Signist should probably have left out altogether. Still, at least all my disliked parts are concentrated together instead of being annoyingly spread out.

Due to there only being seven songs, each one remaining distinct is a key factor in the success of the release. Other than the varying guitar styles of fast melodic playing, steadier riffs, and occasional brutality, acoustic guitars also prove useful in allowing songs to breathe and regroup for a different approach. Those used in 'Premonition of the Endless Night' aid the band in attempting a four and a half minute instrumental opener, thinly setting out atmosphere alongside technical attractions, while 'Pessimistic Panorama' uses additional keyboards as well as acoustics to highlight a subtler touch. The closing Katatonia cover (and captor of my first attentions) takes an interesting direction with 'My Punishment', transforming an originally sparse and desperate song into a warmer and simpler piece than found elsewhere on Of Worlds, Endtimely Enshrined. The album is, in a way, a bit like its title: slightly ungainly and unusually complicated, but curious and, finally, quite satisfying.