Dysangelium- Thanatos Askesis (WTC Productions)

Some gripping Teutonic black metal
Release Date: 
23 Dec 2014 - 11:30pm

Well, it’s summertime here in Australia yet again. For most people it means that they have the opportunity to soak up the sun and start living easy. However, for this reviewer the abundance of sun, surf and good times just makes my endless quest for killer metal all the more difficult. It’s hard to be grim when you’re in board shorts and thongs.

Thankfully, I’ve got cold-hearted German warmongers Dysangelium to help me out on this foolhardy venture. This, their debut album, manages to tick most of the boxes for what makes a quality black metal album. Bone-chilling trem picked guitars? Check. Appropriate production that doesn’t sacrifice sound quality? Check. Songs about occultism and Satan? Oh you better believe it. 

Dysangelium’s particular brand of black metal incorporates many of the sounds that have emanated out of Sweden in the past. The fierce yet melodically tinged approach is reminiscent of Watain and Dissection. Sonically however, this reminds me a lot of the recent efforts of Icelandic warriors Sinmara and Svartidauði. This probably has a lot to do with the fact that this album was mastered at Studio Emissary as were the previously mentioned Icelandic bands. It must be said that the work they do at Studio Emissary is impeccable as they’ve churned out some of the best sounding black metal releases I’ve heard of late. This album is no exception; the production is full and lush without distracting from the harshness of the music.

The most difficult part of this album to wrap your head around is the vocals. As opposed to the standard high pitched shrieks of black metal, here the vocals occupy a much lower register. At first, the throaty shouts present on the record sound out of place, but after a few spins they grow on the listener. Songs like Chaomega, Aries and Words Like Flames all blister with fury, but the quality of the album stays consistent throughout, so there’s no major downsides. Unless the vocals don’t tickle you that is.

As a debut album and a January release, this bodes well both for the band and the year of metal to come.

Thanatos Askesis is out now.