Since 1998 new unexpected discoveries (the universe expanding at an accelerate rate; antimatter is vastly predominant over matter; the asymmetry of left-handed neutrinos; and possibly the superluminal neutrino measured by CERN recently?) have indicated that the universe harbors anomalous behaviors and asymmetries which are inconsistent with the idea of harmony and perfection we like to see in nature.
The brilliant opening track of Insects, “Like flakes of Rust”, reminds me of an album I appreciated very much in 2010: this too is splendidly recorded and quintessentially metal, a work of maturity – accurate, confident, uncaring of the nitpicker’s opinion. Four years on from their debut IIII, Farsot have not come forth with a second incarnation of their biggest “hit” “Thematik: Trauer”. Their black metal essence has evolved as they skillfully adorn their new work with everything they love about music: it has mesmerizing dirge-like pagan choruses; epic tones measured to absolute perfection; abandoned fluid ambient moments rich in classic jazzy/fusion atmospheres; in-your-face aggression drenched in top-notch Teutonic metal often gravid with industrial darkness. The outcome is an album that can be proudly called individual. All instruments work hard and can be fully appreciated, but I want to mention in particular the ominous vocal performance by 10.XIXt: it plays a huge part in creating the spellbinding aura that Insects conjures up.
Farsot’s hailed debut broke the mould of classic black metal with its emotional progressive eclecticism, a feat that was substantiated by an above-average level of musicianship, as it often occurs within the German scene. Those who expect more emotional, Burzumesque black metal throughout this sophomore might be taken aback by the polished approach, but I invite those romantics to listen up. Insects still deals (for the first time all in English) with the complexities of our innermost emotions, but this time they explore them by means of metaphor. Fear, arrogance, cowardice, self-pity, delusion, deceit are mirrored inside an awe-inspiring parallel universe made of grotesque creatures which in our current language have come to symbolize an array of negative, disgusting traits. In reality, this millions of years old army of creepy-crawlers that we use to represent our own failings is destined to outlast our own weaker race in the broader time-frame of natural evolution.
Quite obviously, this is the album that Darwin would relish listening to, and not just for the most obvious reasons: Farsot have been able to catch the essence of the evolutionary tale also because they are not afraid to grow, mutate, adapt and show off out into the physical world their aggressive/melodic eloquence. So I shall come clean: this album reminds me of Aborym’s Psychogrotesque. Conceptually both use metaphors (the insect world and the lunatic asylum) to unravel the darkest abysses of the human condition; both have bravely invested heavily in an adult sound drenched in tradition (tons of progressive rock and jazz), elevating their black metal into something far more broader, disenfranchised from the genre-boxing. Farsot might not be at the forefront of the elusive avant-genre (how many are these days, for Chryst’s sake!? – forgive the pun) but their new effort very much deserves to be included amongst these pages.
As tempting as it is (“Empyrean”, with its oblique opening riff and beautiful grave pagan choruses, and the progressive “Withdrawal” catch me out every time), there is no point in highlighting any tracks, as this is a conceptual album, just like Psychogrotesque was, and it should only be approached as such, savoring it all at once. Repeated listening sessions of this generous, lengthy, substantial metal album are a must, as Insects will keep unfolding on itself: from its apparent immediacy (a sensorial illusion corroborated by the polished, immensely enjoyable quality of the production) it will reveal further layers and pleasing touches by musicians who have precociously come to their own but clearly have still the potential to keep growing. I am absolutely gagging to hear this music in a live dimension at Aurora Infernalis, Arnhem (NL) in a month’s time!
Release: 29 October 2011
Label: Lupus Lounge
Avantgenre: Darwinian Progressive Black Metal
Official site: None
Review online since: 28.09.2011 / 18:14:16
1. Like Flakes Of Rust
5. Adamantine Chains
6. The Vermilion Trail