Epitimia - Faces Of Insanity (2012)
Featuring lyrics in their native Russian language, Epitimia offers up a strange variation of black metal that has its fair share of depressing qualities, but also a strange sense of deep beauty buried within as well as the more creepy shades the genre is known for. The music generally moves at a normal to mid-pace range with an abstract and interesting production that almost makes it feel like the whole thing is cloaked in fog. The guitars generally have a buzzing raw vibe and the bass is mostly buried under the fuzz, though it does sneak out here and there as well some slower doomy and acoustic parts can be found. I also pick up on a few progressive or post-ish sections and even a few clever flat out rockin' riffs and leads are within. The vocals are all over the place and range from somewhat normal raspy screams to occasional grunts and to more mentally deranged shrieks and a cleanly sung part is also tucked in as well.
I find that the first five songs are fairly decent with enough class to stand out, however the album takes a serious turn towards excellence by the time you reach, 'Epikrisis V: Rorschach Inkblot.' Opening with an odd and catchy indie rock-ish riff, the song eventually delves towards a much blacker territory with a lot of post-ish traits sticking out as well with just an immense atmosphere behind the whole song, while, 'Epikrisis VI: Leucotomy' has a central riff that reminds me of early Katatonia as well another riff that comes and goes that tends to remind me of Akira Yamaoka's guitar work on the Silent Hill video game soundtracks, which in case you're not familiar means there's some menacing vibes abound on this song. 'DS: Shizophrenia' starts out calmly, but picks up the pace soon enough with a well placed and solid main riff which carries the song through periods of misery and lunacy as well as a fantastic solo near the end. The ninth and final song, 'Lethe' features the strongest post sound with an underlining melancholy vibe throughout and closes with some ambient/noise attributes.
By no means a pure black metal release, 'Faces Of Insanity' offers up a lot and I've found this one takes several spins before it all sinks in. However once I really let the album get under my skin I was able to pay more attention to the not so obvious parts the album featured. All in all though if you dig black metal with a little spice and some occasionally remarkable guitar work then definitely look into this release.
Disentombed by J.M. at 4:53 PM
Metalhead and editor of this fine blog.
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