Collapsing through madness in slow motion…
Suffered and savored by Jason Guest
Release: March 2016
2014’s Enthroning the Bonds of Abhorrence was lovely. Smashing. Super-duper. It was grand, it was gruesome, and most of all, it was harrowing. Yes. It was and it remains much more than all of those adjectives combined. Don’t believe me? Read the review here. I’m sure you may have noticed but 2016 arrived a little while back and it appears that the Australian one-man black metal bastardo knowna s IV has been hard at it producing Ill Omen’s third full length, Æ.Thy.Rift. Rapture and joy.
Once more, while others choose to dwell well within the realms that define black metal, IV has dived deep into the darkness to penetrate its complexities and bring to the surface the coldest, the bleakest and the calmly agonising. The tempo across the four tracks is slow. Very slow. As layer upon layer of miasmic filth emerges, this is like collapsing through madness in slow motion, every facet of the unbridled and irrepressible torment clawing and tearing at the skin as the vast emptiness opens ever wider before incredulous eyes.
Divided into four tracks, there’s a distinct unison to the album as a whole, a factor echoed in the instrumentation. One instrument becomes many as each is employed with a holistic eye toward the greater creation. Dragging at the tempo of funeral doom to carve its own bleak skyline in a protracted torrent of dark splendour, like its predecessor, Æ.Thy.Rift is an all-consuming experience, and one that demands – and deserves – close listening. Austere and august, the album lumbers and lurches its way through a tortured soundscape, its purpose and its destination unknown but its determination unyielding. Phenomenal.
9 out of 10