Monday, November 12, 2012

Ysengrin - To Endotaton

To me, the number of French bands that I have relative reverence for is very, very few. Even considering all the bands from the dawn of time as far as metal is concerned, there were only a couple of acts which were able to capture my attention, including the death/thrash massacre Massacra, and few more similar OSDM groups which proved somewhat emergent only during the early 90's, and other than that handful of crude extremes, there's only the current blossoming post/ambient black metal chorus that I eschew from listening, but had a sort of alarming impact on me. With members from the fascinating atmospheric black metal cogitation Darkenhold, Ysengrin, one of my more latter discoveries, completely varying from the fellow countrymen, have injected an addicting hermetic drug into my veins which I can't seem to cleanse myself of; the group formulates a mercurial enigma of death, black and doom, and even more surprising is that they don't deliberately eschew whatever archaic tendencies these three genres have, and throw them into their own, enigmatic concoction which boasts of some of the most refreshing, somber metal I've heard in a long while.

From the very start, ''To Endotaton'' constantly fabricates, intense, almost delusional majestic blackened death/doom, if you want to classify that simply. The entire album is a single, cavernous forty-minute journey into mysterious and occult harmony, the album's innumerable characteristics showing with color and epitomized pulchritude, and this constantly flowing tree of veins always keeps ample provisions of atmospheric deepness, adding a mesmerizing undertone to its eloquent furnace, burning with a calm but fervent fire. Eventually, due to the album's many faces, there will be many who will dub it something else, since, the listener is inflected by whatever attribute has an impact on him/her the most, but as a whole, ''To Endotaton'' incorporates so many different influences of distinct color and variation, that its spectrum eventually bursts and comes out a new, fresh monolith formed of the beautifully charred remains of its predecessors.

I'm glad the album eschews any sort of industrial/technical element that might come to mind, because such an experiment would have surely ruined the organic trance bestowed upon you that I drool so much about. The primary riffs are stationary black/doom progressions, advancing, sometimes, with a great atmospheric splendor, while sometimes simply punishing with  a more swerving complex: dirtier chugs and crispy patterns.  While a surge of mournful, misanthropic riffage struggles through a dense plume of lethargy and desolation, Ysengrin add plenty of revitalizing objects in between mourns to keep the pace active, and somehow fluent. I'm talking about crunchy thrash chugs and Bolt Thrower-esque mid-paced crushers coming in an eerie stampede, and on even rarer occasions you'll hear deliberate tremolo bashing, churning into the semi-epic aura with ease.

While the cavern-riddled utters of the vocalist will often be excluded from significance during the more rapid incursions, the tinging despair of the vocalists light gutturals will probably ignite fires of gripping tension and isolation in clean guitar- dominated sequences, where the Frenchman will present themselves as virtuoso of the dark Spanish lead guitar or simply haunting interludes. No matter how long the entire song is, through the band members' experience and savvy techniques, the tremendous hermetic strength the album holds, and delicately penned compositions, the entrancing archaic mystery that is ''To Endotaton'' exceeds. A highly, highly recommended aperture into morbid darkness. Good job I, Voidhanger, good job.

To Endotaton 

Rating: 90%

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