Tuesday, March 19, 2013

AOSOTH: “IV: Arrow In Heart” as an Album of the Month

How to begin the album of the month article? There´s so much to say about this! Well what about I just wander through my memories and start two years ago… March 3rd, 2011. 

It was around ten pm in Portugal and a regular winter night was felt. In a normal day I would be prepared to attack my bed and sleep like a hibernating bear but not that night. Instead I was wearing my Behemoth sweater and ready to “assault” Hard Club (the best show house of the North of Portugal for metal in my point of view) that was going to embrace Death Holy Death Tour. I’m not going to lie; I was there for Watain and Shining, two bands that I really like a lot not only for their music but also for their great performances.

AOSOTH Live "Death Holy Death Tour"
HARD CLUB o`Porto 2011
 I and Nuno (Site owner) arrived late to the concert and we almost miss the performance of Aosoth; in a way we didn´t knew the band (we only knew it was a black metal similar with Watain) so we weren’t that worried about being late and loose the opening. In fact they were something like the headliners but with their own sound (there´s also a cool curiosity between the bands: Erik Danielsson (Watain) has crafted Aosoth logo). The last fifteen minutes of Aosoth show were amazing, truly powerful with an absolutely terrifying atmosphere, we had no expectations and they completely stunned us. We were really pissed in the end and went home thinking the huge letdown it was missing that brutal band. When we arrived home it was late, we were tired and our ears were exploding but we didn´t let the curiosity die and searched more about Aosoth… 

I never knew the French black metal scene till I found Aosoth but know I can surely say that Frenchmen are raising the game. This is not that pure raw and old school black metal that would be expected and it`s very different from Swedish, Norwegian, UK, and Canadian sound, instead it´s very diverse, atmospheric and rhythmic with a melancholic feeling to it. Of course there’s a lot of old and even new influences in this scene but they are creating something innovative here between sensitive and distorted, disharmony and melody, old and new.
In my opinion Aosoth is the perfect example of this scene along with Antaeus (actually it´s normal that you compare Antaeus with Aosoth because the band is the first living form of it), Anorexia Nervosa and Deathspell Omega and if you like these three last bands (despite being so different)  I´m really sure you are going to have a nice time listening to Aosoth or fucking love it like myself who knows?!

Aosoth was born in 2002 as a side project of Antaeus, When Antaeus ceased to exist as a live performance after 12 years the band has chosen a new path. From a grinding and devastating black metal they went to a much more melodic but disharmonic and atmospheric black metal brought by Bst (Balrog, Aborted, Axeman) with some dissonant 90´s death metal elements. Their early works were critically acclaimed by reviewers that quoted their sound to be something like Antaeus, Craft and Grave

Today they are one of my favorite in the French black metal scene without question and their new work and fourth full-length album “IV: Arrow In Heart” has shown what I think of them- each passing year they become better and better.

Finally the long awaited successor of the “III” album (out in 2011 with top scores in many sites, Chigaco Reader, Sputnik Music, Invisible Oranges, Rock Hard and Metal Hammer editions) is arriving. Aosoth has returned much stronger, invigorating, darker, with a fucking incredible personality. The new opus is simply mind blowing and if the album “III” was important in the conception of an identity then the new one features a grand period of evolution in which that entity has been fully composed. The band itself comments: “We´ve spent such a huge amount of time on defining a darker identity, yet open to a wider range of influences. Those tracks still haunt us, as delivering them was a painful and excruciating experience, and left some of us even physically wounded… This gives that album even more of a spiritual value, as it involved a form of sacrifice. This fourth full-length release is without a doubt a great step forward for us in term of music writing, and sound.”

The cover artwork is simple, but man, it´s something special I really love the simplicity of it and the obscurity that brings out. The creator of this great artwork is called Benjamin Vierling and he really nailed it.

The track list of “IV: Arrow In Heart” is the following: 
1-“An Arrow in Heart”; 2- “One With The Prince With  A Thousand Enemies”; 3- “Temple of Knowledge”; 4- “Under the Nails and Fingertips”; 5- “Broken Dialogue 1”; 6- “Broken Dialogue 2”; 7- “Ritual Marks of Penitence”.

The album begins with the song “An Arrow in Heart”; this one is my favorite and what I can describe as perfection, a 10 minutes masterpiece that starts with a kickass riff that instantaneously immerses the listener in the huge heaviness of the work. You can hear a lot of death metal in a dark ambiance and many more influences during this first experience but I’m not going to give details or talk about all the songs, you have to “see” by yourself the monster that this music is.

In general the album “IV: Arrow In Heart” is what I like to call a giant, a fucking massive work that can easily rip your ears off. This is one of those works that can´t be judge song by song, not even a bit, this is an almost masterpiece of black metal, an evolution of the scene that really took be my surprise. Aosoth has yet a huge path to walk but they are no longer a simple band but an entity that reached a higher state, a higher form and gained a new dimension. Intelligent, distinctive, much darker, with many more influences “IV: Arrow In Heart” deserves attention and fast!

One melee with the words, ideas and its paradoxes... albuns that are news, the reviews at "HeavyHardMetalmania.net", always with its watermark,  Pedro Ribeiro, with love for beer... sorry, music from an early age, he studied piano and singing from 7 to 14 years,  then, devoted himself to the study of the guitar for 5 years. "The wisdom is found in the extremes, all extreme Metal here!"

Facebook | "IV:Arrow In Heart"can be pre-ordered exclusively at Agonia Records webshop.

Band's upcoming live appearances include:
May 9th: France, Paris - La Boule Noire
May 25th: Maryland Death Fest (USA)
November 17th/18th, Helsinki, Finland: Black Flames of Blasphemy

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