For me Leviathan is the reason why I still can enjoy Black Metal. Well, “enjoy” might be the wrong term. I enjoy a plate of spaghetti or the company of friends. Maybe reverence is a better word, but actually this is rather surprising as we talk about a band from the US isn’t it? There is no other style of music which is so much connected to a mystic aura like Black Metal. The Norwegian woods, trolls, the inner circle. These legends are omnipresent till this day. A long time Scandinavia represented the only place for the real Black Metal (“True Norwegian Black Metal”). But San Francisco? It is not a place I would expect the Redeemer to come from. I might think of the Golden Gate, the cable car or china town…the right surrounding for Black Metal art? But every era has its downfall and another will rise. This is called evolution and since cocaine, fame and MTV-Videos became more important than the expression itself, Norwegian Black Metal is dead and US-Black Metal on its way to conquer the world.
Wrest first caught my attention with the stunning record “Tenth Sublevel Of Suicide” and totally amazed me with his contributions to the split-albums with Xasthur and Sapthuran. Few days ago the third full-length “Massive Conspiracy Against All Life” (straight title!) arrived at my post box, while I was already waiting on my knees to worship the new rape of humanism and charity from this vanguard American.
“Vesture Dipped In The Blood Of Morning” starts with a disturbing noise/industrial-theme. After some seconds a massive wave of sound takes the listener on a journey through the deepest depths of human agony. First surprise is the sound which is more accessible and “professional” compared to “Tentacles Of Whorror”. It’s also the first record on which Wrest used a real drumkit. The guitars as well lost the ugliness of the past. Beside that the first track makes clear that “Massive Conspiracy Against All Life” represents to 100% the music of Leviathan as we know and adore it. In the more chaotic parts it reminds me to Deathspell Omegas’ last creation “Fas – Ite, Maledicti, In Ignem Aeternum”. But to make it clear: I would always favour Wrest over the French avant-gardists, because where they became a rather rational (yet technical still impressive) band, Wrest remains the master when it comes to the evocation of the most extreme emotions between total hate (“Vesture Dipped In The Blood Of Morning”) and relaxing love (ending of “Merging With Sword, Onto Them”).
Again, Wrest is experimenting a lot with analogue guitar and synthesiser sounds in order to achieve the dark ambient-like atmosphere his records became famous for. For me Leviathan is the only band that succeeded with it’s merger of extreme Metal and Ambient. Compared to Lurker of Chalice or Leviathan acclaimed acts like Darkscpace or Trist deliver a rather poor performance. The only negative thing I have to point out is the track “Vulgar Asceticism”, which is too much inspired by Blut aus Nord. It’s a good song, but simply sounds like a one-to-one copy of the “The Work Which Transforms God”-era.
Anyway, to make it short: If you are into Black Metal, sick of decadent European bands and if you can acclaim the approach of a vanguard, yet totally extreme artist, spend money on Leviathan-records like this one. In a morbid way it will leave you satisfied and pleased.
Label: Moribund CUlt
Avantgenre: Anti-Human Black Metal (reloaded)
Official site: None
Review online since: 26.07.2008 / 03:10:29
01 – Vesture Dipped In The Blood Of Morning
02 – Merging With Sword, Onto Them
03 – Made As The Stale Wine Of Wrath
04 – VI-XI-VI
05 – Receive The World
06 – Vulgar Asceticism
07 – Noisome Ash Crown