Review by Jason Guest
Farsot’s 2007 debut, IIII, brought something new to the black metal scene with avant-garde and experimental elements that provided an intellectual as well as emotional experience. And rather than racing to get an album out too quickly after their debut, their sophomore album, Insects, appears four years later and takes Farsot further into an array of musical territories.
Many black metal elements are here. There’s blast beats aplenty; there are ice-cold razor riffs that are as pummelling as the blackest of the bleak bunch that dwell in the underground are in abundance; and the dark cloud of annihilation hangs menacingly over every aspect of the album. Bleak, aggressive, and atmospheric, the album has a progressive side to it, Farsot showing a significant growth in style. Where IIII felt like an album of movements, Insects is more song-based. Though it may not feel like a cohesive whole in the same sense, this approach has given them space to develop ideas and be more concise. What differentiates and enhances the aesthetic are the bass-lines that, at times melodically, step out of the shadows to add deepening shades. The raw and cold vocal delivery /pushes the album into rugged terrains as the diverse sound of the album unfolds slowly in the dynamic structures and the discomfiting atmospheres. Take the delicate instrumental ‘7’ for instance. One simple melodic phrase is repeated and slowly developed as, almost unnoticeably, subtle nuances such as the fretless bass-line and an electronic piano appear as the track develops. The result is something astounding that is in no way ominous but bears as much if not more emotional impact than the most gruesome, grinding riff could.
Insects – a reference to what humanity’s existence will be like after the apocalypse, the central theme to the album – takes Farsot’s black metal into progressive, jazz, ambient, experimental, and avant-garde terrains that make this album something unique and deserving of many a spin. Multi-layered throughout, there’s the rhythmic and the raging, the nightmarish and the dream-like, the richly complex, and the mystical and magical. Where black metal abandons humanity, Insects is a picture of the vast complexity of the human experience with an eye for its end. Negative? Positive? Read it how you will, but Insects proffers a richer reading of the human condition. If you want progressive black metal that stretches beyond the boundaries to enhance the black metal experience, this is it. Highly recommended.
- Like Flakes Of Rust
- Adamantine Chains
- The Vermilion Trail
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