Saturday, December 4, 2010


A cleansing wash of hyperwhite ultra static flatlining black metal, absolutely shrieking from the speakers like tendrils of white hot iron snaking through your brain. Totally flooring and presenting a sort of ultimate engagement sonically with the listener, "Extinction" is easily one of the best pieces of black metal composition i've heard this year. Prior to this release Nekrasov had done little to impress me, deluging the market with a glut of post-Xasthur black ambient/metal nouveau recordings that seemed to be nothing more than notches in the discography belt. With this album, delivered to the considerably higher profile Crucial Blast, Nekrasov have fucking levelled me.
To call this black metal is a bit of a stretch but i want to because it's such a powerful statement. Certainly a lot of critical defining elements are there-ultra distorted buzzing fuzz guitars, warpingly fast blast beat drums terrifying in their relentless beatdown and horrid, high pitched shrieks of caustic hatred-but all these elements appear with far less frequency than the remainder of the sounds that really form the core of "Extinction"'s nihilistic idea, the heavy noise/drone treatments of amplifier vomit and shimmering blackened voids stretched out to excruciating lengths. "Extinction" really bears more in common with the industrial tinged works of Human Quena Orchestra or Noisegate-there's a focus on destruction and its aftermath, an illustration of societal and cultural collapse. You could say the black metal tracks illustrate the Armageddon and the ambience represents something akin to a walk through the resultant nuclear winter, a dance through the end. The sound here is very focused and intent on bringing you to a very particular place, both philosophically and imaginatively. Nekrasov's ability to craft a brutal, unflinching but utterly engrossing sixty minutes that take the listener to that stumbling brink reflects an immense bit of growth from the previous genre regurgitations to the masterwork given here.
And it is a masterwork. I want to call this a black metal album because it represents to me everything that true, caustic black metal should be. It's extreme, punishing, seemingly lo-fi and totally abrasive, yet there's a massive layer of sound lurking beneath and within everything that's presented on the surface, especially as the record spaces out and drifts into the cold harsh moonscapes of the last 30 minutes. It's hypnotic without being repetitious; rather you're sucked into some sort of empty musical void, flung out into further reaches simply floating in the black. Occasionally shimmers of light or some sort of star flurry will erupt across the endless horizons but for the most part you find yourself adrift, watching the limits of the world crumble all around you, never ending but growing ever more claustrophobic with the falling away of each towering chunk of dead sky. It's total immersion in Nekrasov's vision.
High points in an album full of them include the near locked groove section that brings 'Matter is the Bastard" to a close, where the vocals become one long, continuous scream of white sound under which blastbeats and guitars morph into an electrical light razor of screaming, brain scraping horror. "Pre-Fetal Non-Mantra" is a respite of classicist black metal, with one grainy, strainingly melodic riff buzzsawed into distorted oblivion under a trainwreck of clanging drums undiluted fuzz. "No Room For Liberation Found Here or Now" and the hulking 20 minute title track represent the coldest ruins of the world, with the former putting you through the wringer of ultra-grinding molten Earthesque guitar sludging while the latter drowns you under sick, slow massaging waves of heavy refracted drone and whine. Fucking punishing the whole way through and so, so good. Easily a 2010 highlight and a new high point for incredibly raw black metal.

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