French duo Spektr, consisting of a guitarist and a drummer (but both also on programming and sampling), conceived Et Fugit Intera Fugit Irreparabile Tempus (Appease Me, 2004) as a collage of industrial music (frequently pushed to the limit of abstract noise), ambient music (thick floating drones) and post-rock elements (e.g. indulging in extreme shifts of dynamics) from which only occasionally did blastbeats of black metal emerge.
The eight-minute horror show Wizened Hand is relatively straightforward,
while the nine-minute standout, No Longer Human Senses, starts with a
martial distorted robot dance and ends in a black-metal orgy.
But the real experiments take place in shorter pieces, like the
threnody Post Fatalism and the infernal machinery of
Nothing's Been Worth Saving and the droning requiem Confusion.
If that was a music of wild contrasts, Near Death Experience (Candlelight, 2006) turned the contrasts into ingredients of a cohesive blend.
The eight-minute The Violent Stink Of Twitching Terror begins with
three minutes of post-nuclear noise that set the tone for a sequence of intermittent blastbeats and layers of guitar distortion. Then steady drumming propels the final anthemic refrain sung in a cannibal growl.
The crumbling glitch sonata Climax,
the rainstorm of radio interference in Visualization
the surreal post-metal atmosphere of Whatever The Case May Be,
the lugubrious ambient vignette Unio Mystica
draw the map of a new musical territory.
Not everything works, and, when it doesn't work, the project
can get embarrassingly trivial.
The nine-minute Phantom Reality is rather trivial: two minutes of digital noise, followed by seven minutes of violent discordant guitar riffs,
The seven-minute His Mind Ravaged His Memory Shattered is even less
Closer to musique concrete than to heavy metal, the best part of this album
marked a sort of rite of passage for the duo.
Their stylistic implosion reached the nadir with the four-song EP Mescalyne (2007) and its two nightmarish hallucinations set in a desolate wasteland of sonic debris, the desperate rant of Hollow Contact and the
sinister noisescape of Maze Of Torment.
After a long hiatus, Cypher (Agonia, 2013) actually presented a more
mature band. The nine-minute Teratology is their best
free-form post-metal orgy yet. Even better is the shorter
Antimatter, that discovers the anthemic value of irregular cacophony.
The harsh dissonance of the eight-minute The Singularity is their view of the coming post-human intelligence.
The eleven-minute Cypher condenses that bleak view of the future in
a much more articulate narrative, moving from an angst-filled, dilated, quasi-psychedelic fog of distortions into a tense black-metal neurosis.
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