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Too busy - 80%

PorcupineOfDoom, March 29th, 2017

Seeing that a band only has one release from 2006 doesn't usually fill me with confidence, especially if it's just a demo. Signist are therefore a pleasant surprise, as their recently remastered demo Of Worlds Endtimely Enshadowed is actually pretty kick-ass. There are still a few rough edges, but Signist have started strongly and hopefully now that they're active again we'll be getting more stuff like this pretty soon.

There's a large element of prog in this music, and as such it's quite complex. There are passages of groovy chugging, brief interludes where acoustic guitars take the limelight, more technical and melodic lines throughout various points and a hundred variations of those things. Each part is done brilliantly: the groove influences are generally saved for the rhythm section, which thunders magnificently in the background with a nice bite to it; the melodies show a lot of technical aptitude, but they never turn into mindless noodling and the emotional side always has the most weight; and the acoustics are inserted at just the right moment, eased in fantastically and executed to perfection. Sometimes it takes a little bit to wind up, but once it gets going it's a very impressive listen.

In fact, one of the only real weaknesses displayed on OWEE is the occasional difficulty in getting to the point. Sure, the drums are at times a little simplistic in comparison to the guitars and in general the mixing could be better, but as a general rule everything seems to come together rather well. It's just that the songwriting isn't quite concise enough to grab my attention right from the off and keep it until the end. A large portion of each track seems to be wandering thoughts, not entirely disconnected from the rest of the track but random enough that I'm left a little lost. Take 'XXI Century Presuicidal Reverie'. Besides the song titles needing some more thought, there are almost two songs contained within one another here. The first set of riffs is fairly generic but nonetheless enjoyable enough, and yet around the 1:50 mark they disappear completely for a bizarre change of tempo lasting all of ten seconds before a rapid-fire solo kicks in. After this we're given another sequence of riffs similar to the first before it switches to set two again without warning, just as I'm starting to settle into the song. There's a bit more back and forth before too, just in case you thought it would even out afterwards. I feel as though there's enough content on this demo to write a full-length rather easily, yet they cram it all into a thirty minute demo.

So while this is indeed one of the better demos that I've heard, it still suffers from a lack of direction. If Signist can contain their ideas a little better they have a lot of potential, assuming that there's a new release on the way some twelve years after this one first debuted. They certainly have the talent, it's just a question of whether they can put it to good use or not.

A Remastered EP Worth Revisiting - 80%

orionmetalhead, November 16th, 2016
Written based on this version: 2016, Digital, Narcoleptica Productions (Remastered)

With a shift towards regression swelling in the ocean of releases and bands, Signist are swimming against the stream by re-releasing and remastering their 2006 demo. It's easy to support the claim that the tendency in metal is to not push beyond the defined genre-prison with so many bands aiming for traditional sounds. And yet the Russian duo and their 2006 demo, Of Worlds, Endtimely Enshadowed, while a release that contextually is easy to place at that original time-period, is not so easily dissected as being purely defined by the discernible melodic death metal influences on the release. It is to be viewed outside the currents trends and the decision to re-release is, if anything, counter intuitive to the current metal climate.

There is a very specific guitar tonality on this recording which identifies it as a Russian release; a certain hollowness amidst the otherwise generic timbre that I have heard before from a host of Russian artists both contemporary with the timing of this release (Hell's Thrash Horsemen) as well as quite earlier in time (Aspid) whom all share this uniquely Russian tone. It's also appeared elsewhere in the east such as on Aum's 2012 Of Pestilence. It's a different feel, revealing Signist as going against the tide at this point in time, perhaps slowly drifting in the same waters, but observing a more careful route than that carried by the debris. Guitarist Ixaxaar handles most of the instrumentation and is impressive across the release while partner Axalcathu on drums complements capably. Both handle vocals throughout and exit with strong credentials.

Guitar tones aside, the contributing factors to the material would be several notable Swedish bands. Opeth's progressiveness is apparent early on in opening track "Premonition of the Endless Night" as the song dissolves into an acoustic interlude for it's majority. I hear a mix of Amon Amarth and Dark Tranquility in "Stillborn Mind Reflection." What is not prevalent are American Melodic Death influences and metalcore influences which factored into the "great blandening" of those years. There are lots of flourishes of experimentalism and progressive ideas incorporated into the tracks. "XXI Century Presuicidal Reverie" is a strong showing of this experimental penchant and passes attention to progressive masters thirty five years prior in title.

Perhaps the best combination of the influences on the album manifests itself in album highlight "Bells of Oncoming Winter." A twisting and extended riff opens the track and grips the listener in the culmination of the phrasing before layering additional effected clean guitars as an accompaniment cuing the verse. Later in the song, after a syncopated section of lead guitar work, clean vocals cue in the harsh vocals in a similar manner. Simple and smooth transitions of melody hold the ideas together. This is also true in "Dark Coulors Breeder," a big track with a demure interlude splitting it's ends. A cover of Katatonia's "This Punishment" is the final strap on the jacket for Signist's album.

Of Worlds, Endtimely Enshadowed, was artfully crafted amidst influences which overpowered a lot of music at the time. Signist recognized the original influences of the melodic death metal style and incorporated them heavily into their sound. This release will not appeal to everyone but may find a respected place for fans of the late 90's and early 00's melodic death metal material. The idea to resurrect the release now, after trends have died down, whether purposeful or not, affords a more unbiased look at material, which several years prior, may have been dismissed and disregarded.

Originally written for Contaminated Tones.

Bas-Relief(ed) with an Extra Dimension - 74%

putrevomitory, September 28th, 2016
Written based on this version: 2016, Digital, Narcoleptica Productions (Remastered)

The ouroboros is an enticing concept—ensnaring musicians and artists as a means of expression—metaphorically or ironically. Over-exposure's desensitization make end-users and targets almost immune to a reaction—especially this being the creator's point of concern. That is the much that can happen between 2005 and now, when the blueprint of Of Worlds, Endtimely Enshadowed was realized and articulated. Furthermore, the chained self-devouring snake portrays a continuum in stasis, something of a disheveling reality, accounting for self-begetting.

Signist is an unforgettable name, incredibly significant where there are myriad bands left, right, and center. From Russia with pluck purpose to pulverize and perpetuate perdition to the rest of the (Metal) world. Largely cast on a thrash metal motif that stretches to heavy metal and barbaric deathy thrash—progressions and changes abound on a lot of the songs. Influences are worn aggressively such as a slight punk pummeling—on track six—, technicality, and portional synth flourished atmosphere. Interestingly, it is the rhythm that channels the solos. Premonition of the Endless Night's placement was tactful. Other than splitting it into a short intro or insertion of one, the behemoth of cudgeling grooves is allowed to mature into a flounce, the first of a tenacious whirlgig—the kind that Wrust lashes unrepentantly—on an intracion of melodic rhythms which culminate into a Blackened lead, accompanied by blast beats. Played at a Spazmosity blackened death range. An acoustic shed follows, making up for the onslaught taking the listener off the nook at the start without warning.

Stillborn Mind Reflection perpetuates a blackened infusion while track three revives the catchy, contoured and uncompromisingly conking grooves by the advent of heavy metal accompaniment. It wouldn't be surprising how much the guitars take center space, especially on this song. Only the 'spongy' cymbals—unluckily quite consistent once or twice—are its downside, including on Bells of Oncoming Winter, the longest and felicitously changing track. There is some featured singing as the album unravels while addition of a synthesized keyboard wells a Darkified feel—with some post-thrash occupations.

As marginalizing as their logo is—a pagan/viking oriented band?—any power/thrash cacophony?—it certainly is a pointer to the listener to heed expecting anything—especially to be blown away. With melodies that are almost epically inclined; progressive tincture and bent, its omnipotence forays the floridness abound in a gradual manner—a propitious sculpt on thrash metal's mould. A progressive thrash metal stomp where Lieveil meets Wrust.

-Web Scrawler