Burnt Sugar is an album which is felt as much as heard, but it’s not an uncomfortable listen, instead, its direct nature comes across as a way of building the feeling of solidarity that comes with the bands hardcore roots and confronting melancholic feelings with a searing vitality.
Tracing a line that crosses chaotic punk, scuzzy industrial and commanding noise-rock, particularly given the shortened recording time, could easily end in disaster, yet The Long Walk blurring of genre boundaries and sustained sense of crushing doom is managed with a finesse that reveals a growing mastery of both atmosphere and texture.
Whilst the ceaseless, down-tuned gloom might prove trying at first, there’s brilliance to be found among the brutality.
There are worse ways to call time on a project than an EP, that bucks convention, evading many of the regular black metal tropes, in favour of something dark, powerful and hypnotic and a timely reminder of just how creative and ingenious the US black metal scene can be.
Recalling everything from, lapping waves, frost-tipped leaves and bygone seasons to introspective reflection and existential reverie, it’s a record that reveals itself more on each listen, enchanting and fascinating with its ethereal shimmer and emotional warmth.
‘Demo II’ is a journey even further into the unknown, revealing sides of the Amnutseba’s music that were only hinted at before. If this is merely a teaser of what’s to come, it certainly suggests their, defiant, idiosyncratic, brand of darkness has a bright future.
Listening to Vessel of Iniquity is like a brush with Lovecraft’s horror, or the existential musings of Ligotti. Its very existence is seemingly set-up into pushing listeners to confront the very boundaries of what could previously be considered possible or in this case musical. But like the aforementioned authors, those who dare will be richly rewarded.
‘Alma | Baltica’, is the product of a band hard at work redefining their sound and whilst the resultant record might not be a high-point of their catalog in itself, it does indicate both a willingness to experiment and a promising direction for future development.
‘In Becoming A Ghost’ is an ambitious and restless album and clearly, the product of many hours in the studio spent honing their sound. It’s precise without ever appearing clinical and challenging, but also highly listenable.
Overall ‘Askesis’ is a dark, absorbing listen; the numerous twists and turns serving to add additional dynamism to the band’s sound whilst avoid the familiar trap of sounding contrived or tacked-on as an afterthought.