Tuesday, February 16, 2010

IRRWISCH "DEMO 2008" (Those Opposed)

Blazing, cloudy black metal from the Netherlands. Cloaked in ethereal fuzzy guitar tones as washed out, dense and blurry as the muted browns of its oceanic cover art, Irrwisch's five song existential paen sings of a sorrow unabsorbed and a disenchantment with being that runs almost as infinite as the sky. This is a particularly haunted record, draped in gothic atmosphere and bleeding out angst. Those Opposed have always trafficked in some of black metal's most depressing practitioners and this is no exception, following in the footsteps of Austere, Lyrinx and Bosse to create a bleak statement of emptiness, hopelessness and negativity. Yet still a sort of reverence rises above all of it. Maybe it's just the cover art, with that vast, dark, tormented ocean warring against itself and the heavens above it, but i feel again the awesome power of the natural world on display, the feeling that humanity is such a puny, infant, immaterial thing when weighed against the awesome age of the world as is and has always been. The future is but a minuscule allotment of years and then all will be still again and all the petty concerns and worries that we wrung our hands over during our time here will evaporate into the nothingness they once were before, disappearing into the larger, indifferent consciousness that preceded us. From nothing back to nothing. It never mattered and it never will.
And what of the music? It reaches for transcendence and largely achieves it, displaying the "time warping" quality discussed a while back. Irrwisch stretch everything out but the means are violent rather than apathetic. The guitars are so huge and raw that they just float and hang, barely changing, manifesting themselves as swirling chaotic masses of electric tone, hot as the sun and as buzzing as an unrelenting migraine. Two (!!) basses cradle it all in a swath of low-end fuzz and grumble, making for a thick and syrupy sonic soup that drowns the listener in its saturation. The drums are insane, all over the place, replete with endless fills, head-spinning ridework and all manner of start/stop craziness but for all their hectic motion they never detract, only drive everything forward, pushing and pushing like a door that you needed to get into was going to snap shut any second. There is not enough time and there's no way to make it pass fast enough, a sentiment that i have felt in my own life many times over. In capturing a certain sort of despair and highlighting the complexities of modern emptiness through music, Irrwisch have done a phenomenal job. A fantastic demo from an extremely promising entity.

No comments: