Angrenost: Planet Muscaria

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Angrenost: Planet Muscaria
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Angrenost: Planet Muscaria
Black Metal, Industrial
Code666 Records
September 26th, 2013
Release length: 1:05:13
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Angrenost is a lesser known band that has existed for many years, though not consecutively. Forged out of Portugal in 1995, this Black Metal group issued only one recording, a 1998 demo titled Evil, before disbanding shortly after. For the ten years (at least) that followed, this act lied dormant until it was reactivated in 2010. Since then, Angrenost has sustained itself as a three-piece astral group with some Industrial elements thrown in to give it a bit of a Science Fiction vibe, and has been picked up by Code666 Records for their long overdue debut album, Planet Muscaria. Given the long wait fans of the demo had to suffer, does this end up a release well worth the wait, or is this effort something that goes a bit too far with its themes?

“INferN(O)” acts as the album’s introduction, and while it has a bit of a Stanley Kubrick 2001: A Space Odyssey vibe, what epic elements are shadowed by an overburdeningly grim atmosphere, using some keyboards and further Industrial elements to feel as though a black hole were opening up, though the chain sound effects do kill it slightly. Planet Muscaria does push those Industrial elements pretty far, which causes it to sound Avant-Garde with the timing and shifts in and out of a sleek yet venomous Black Metal atmosphere, which shows itself during “acIdShIVa.” The start is normal enough, having some thick effects that make it seem as though you are spinning out of control in a great vastness, then giving it a break to move into some haunting keyboards before deeper distant clean chanting kicks in. But, about five and a half minutes in, you are given straight Industrial music in the background with deep altered narration layered over it, giving off an ominous vibe that acts more like a conceptual minute long bridge than actual padding. The pay out, however, is well worth it, as the song becomes richer and tighter, leading to some of the strongest music the performance has to offer, and one hell of an amount of closure.

“INTraVeNUS” is an immediate change of style. Where many tracks end up sharp and venomous with a sleek coating of space-age Science Fiction, this track is dark, cold, and brutal. The hint of venom and hatred in the performance is found in some spots, but overall the music just hammers away at the listener, pushed forward by the tight and furious clicks of double bass kicks that bring in a blunt edge to the mix. The Industrial elements are also a bit restricted, giving way to some early second wave frostbitten Black Metal that sounds superb with the distortion on the vocals and often haunting keyboards. Of course the intensity picks up, giving way to a more aggressive modern approach, even having deeper rasps with a different distortion that comes off rather eerie and intimidating. Around seven and a half minutes, there is a gap of silence with odd narration, but only for a few seconds before slipping into a bit of a symphonic Emperor-style closing. “SchIzOphObOS” throws back to that early second wave sound as well, and while it flows smoothly through the entire ten and a half minutes, it just isn’t as strong. The music is rather thin and ends up a bit hollow, even kind of bland in comparison to “INTraVeNUS,” or any other song here. It does have tighter moments where the pace picks up, but these are few and far between sadly, and not enough to really save it.

“ajNagraMMaTON” is perhaps the most obvious of the Avant-Garde style performances, and one of the most abrasive. This is largely Industrial elements at work, finding extensive mechanical passages that weave a crushing tone, and some harsher vocals that appear from time to time. It’s a truly oppressive experience, even when the Black Metal performances slam right back in for short bouts of sharp aggression, captivating the listener with its distorted sense of reality the whole nine plus minutes. But, the cornerstone of Planet Muscaria is actually at the start of the instrumental “ScOrplOSaUrUS.” It’s an abrasive twist into the deepest, more despicable depths of the solar system complimented with crushing effects and altered voices. But, again, some of the chain sound effects kind of dull the bite. It also acts as the perfect introduction to the more serious “abSUMardUk.” The slower pace of the song and stylish keyboards compliment the harsh distortion of the vocals. The break in music about four minutes in helps helps give it a cold, desolate vibe before slamming back in with pent up rage and subtle symphonic keyboards for much of the remainder.

Planet Muscaria offers over an hour of solid music, most of it tethered together thanks to the mechanical effects, making it an opus that not only takes you to the darkest depths of the universe, but drops you off in the most distant crater with middle fingers raised high. If members of The Kovenant, Aborym, and even Emperor were to form an astral/Science Fiction themed Black Metal group, this is what that bastardized offspring would come out sounding like, and it’s a truly maddening experience. If you have never heard of Angrenost, which wouldn’t be too surprising if you’re outside of Portugal, then now is the time to check out what is one of the most promising debuts for a modern Black Metal group in recent years.

01. INferN(O) – 2:04
02. acIdShIVa – 8:22
03. INTraVeNUS – 8:45
04. SaTaNlOgOS – 9:45
05. ScOrpIOSaUrUs – 4:13
06. abSUMardUk – 10:09
07. SchIzOphObOs – 10:35
09. ajNagraMMaTON – 9:13
09. )O(NrefNI – 2:07
Initial Pressing Score: 9/10

Angrenost
Angrenost

Digital review copy of this release provided by Code666 Records via Aural Music.