Behind a very different (yet still somewhat unreadable) logo that plays with both clean Greek letters and musical symbolism, lies ESSENZ. This three-piece German group came together in 2006, and after being picked up by Svart Records, their second album entitled Mundus Numen follows a poetic concept “based around the painful acquisition of ones deepest will, which enables to transform the world from an instance to a suggestible setting and implies manic boundary experience”. The album starts off surprisingly BLACK SABBATH:esque with the catchy riffing in the beginning of Extinguish Shapes: Innermediate. The vocals of G.ST linger in the background whispering in their native language, and the song ends with a acoustic part, which reminds a lot of tunes otherwise heard from eastern european metal acts. Instead of keeping to the safe side and following in the steps of doomy predecessors, ESSENZ picks up a much rawer black metal vibe in Sea of Light: Pleroma, yet without loosing the pronounced heaviness. The upbeat intensity in the beginning of the song soon decreases as a more dark and powerful part takes over, only to return to the original energetic domain. The vocals are hoarse and raw, and are a nice element together with the stylish, retro-sounding guitars, and hard drumming. The pulsating bass adds a delightful groove to the music, and comes out in the foreground around 2 minutes into Extricate Spirits: Amor. The 10 min long song is quite repetitive, so the abrupt shift into the fuel-filled middle section is much welcomed, and the second half becomes more interesting with musical invocations and disharmonic tunes. The flaring and distorted guitar tone builds up Observed By Spectres: Paranoia nicely, and this is probably something that sounds extremely magical live, and are able to penetrate- and set your bone marrow into vibration. The dissonant To The Bone: Mania is a rather slow and monotonous track built up by disturbing combinations of harmonies and off-key tunes, giving you the awkward feeling of something evil lurking around the corner. To tie together the album, it ends with the first riff of Extinguish Shapes: Innermediate playing sotto voce in the background. As a strong contrast to the rest of the album, Observing Spectres: Schizophrenia lives up to its name, being an instrumental and experimental finish that probably have the potential to disturb and disrupt a weak and susceptible mind. Production-wise, the sound is very dense and heavy, which is needed since the songs are very long and simple in terms of their minimalistic and riff-based backbone. But the focus is not on the technique of the players but rather on the sound that they bring on. The same riff is re-used throughout the song in which they occur, but it takes on different forms in density and feeling, and that altogether makes Mundus Numen very appealing. Perhaps the symbols in the logo is derived from “forte”, meaning “loud” in terms of music, which would be logical since Mundus Numen deserves a whole load of decibels to fully nourish the listener.
Label: Svart Records
Avantgenre: Blackened Doom
Official site: None
Review online since: 26.07.2012 / 16:14:05
01 – Extinguish Shapes: Innermediate