Over the past decade or so, black metal – particularly of the northern European variety – has become much more about the feel of the music rather than the subject matter, as bands have progressed from satanic shock tactics to more natural, ethereal explorations of the environments which originally inspired their rebellion against the Christian-based ethological system. Well, that’s what it seems like to us outsiders because, as most metal historians know, the Nordic BM scene always was ecology based…
Anyway, slowly, this pervasive turnaround in the more ecological based style of extremity is filtering out of Scandinavia and inspiring a whole new approach to the darker arts from bands across the main part of Europe… now reaching France and this latest project from Merrimack/Vorkreist mainman AK.
In this case, the environment is that of the self, as the album addresses the question of the ego, of self-esteem and the subsuming of the individual by the wider world and society – the pressures to confirm which lead back to the self-doubt and self-questioning which always has led man to rebel against societal pressures: it also questions the very essence of man himself, and particularly the soul – as evinced by the askance of the opening track, which queries the nature of death itself…
The result is a very introverted and nihilistic album: atmospheric and dark yet as contradictory as its subject matter, especially in its use of what could almost be totally clashing and conflicting styles:
‘The End Of A Sub-Elitist Addiction’, for example, is a long rambling exercise is dark nihistic psychedelic black metal (very much in the mien of Swedish ambient noise merchants such as Drakh or Nordvargr), while the next track, ‘Art Or Cancer’, is contrastingly characterised by its chaotic industrialism, especially in the annihilatory concluding section.
I’ve long been a fan of AK through his previous work, and this work of dark, twisted glory has strengthened my opinion of his as one of the dark lords of the modern genre.[9.5/10]
1. Où Se Trouve La Mort
2. The End Of A Sub-Elitist Addiction
3. Art Or Cancer
4. The Other Rat
5. Mother And Whore
6. Static Involution
7. L’Indécision d’etre
8. Keeping The Structure
‘Inhibition’ is released on Agonia Records on September 25th in Europe and November 6th in North America.