Friday, November 4, 2011

Review: Arkhon Infaustus - Perdition Insanabilis

Here is the one album where Arkhon Infaustus did everything right. It's the first album I ever heard from them, and after hearing the other three, they just don't stack up to this one. Everything on this album was executed pretty much perfectly, establishing these sick Frenchmen's reputation as one of the most unsettling entries in all of metal. Dread, entropy and a striking sense of wicked perversion are all representative of Arkhon Infaustus' pedigree, and it comes alive best on this, their seminal third full-length, and a personal classic.

In a lot of ways, this album sounds very modern and polished. It's also a rare example of when that works to the album's benefit; covering everything in a dark crystalline production job that creates this sleek sense of darkness and foul spirit. AI are pretty much just a French incarnation of something in the Blasphemy vein. They sound considerably less French than many of their peers, but still carry that ornate sense of craftsmanship in the melodies that give this that recognizable French character. With music that is nearly a cloud which seizes the listener, making them at once suffer and enjoy their way through the album. This album is just enjoyable enough to be invigorating in its might, but also very unwelcoming. There's a certain animosity towards purity and virtue that seems to be commanded intimidatingly well by this album. It's a very sinister piece of work.

AI specialize in the 'all riffs and no tricks' style of writing, but the special thing about this band on this album is how well-paced and developed it seems to be. It never gets boring, despite its relative simplicity, and it always has a new riff to show off - musically proclaiming just how much they can do with power chords and a truly vile style of writing. It's amazing just how damn evil this album is. The riffs practically effervesce with sulfur and death, and you'll love them too, because this band has an uncanny way of really harnessing the power of gripping rhythms. Proper opener "M33 Constellation" might be the highlight here, and then the eerie and dreadful "Six Seals Salvation" shows a similar type of dark aura. The David Koresh samples really work amazingly in that song. Or note the desolate, ebbing feel of "Saturn Motion Theology" - creating a whole world of entropy with just a few slow-paced minor key melodies. Every track offers something different but relative to the others, but it doesn't always necessitate an entire listen of the album. Any couple of tracks here remind us of the staying power of this album. It stays with you, and inclines you to listen again and again. You won't discover anything new after twenty listens, but it will sound about twenty times more powerful on that listen.

1 comment:

  1. Although I was already in the habit of exploring extreme musical genres, this album is responsible for cementing it as a passion (my old username used to be orthodoxyn taken from their following release). Black Metal perfection.