Review from The Sound Not The Word
Posted by Nick Skog on Tuesday, February 4, 2020 Under: English
From: The Sound Not The Word
Published: February 3, 2020
The role of artwork in putting across an album’s intentions can be taken for granted. It surely seems obvious that, as the most visible part of a record, the cover art should act as a kind of summary of what the musicians want to express; yet so often it feels as if the artwork was an after-thought. But in the case of …In Stille (“In Silence”) by Frigoris, the cover feels like a fine summation of the themes of the album. Dealing as it does with the idea of suicide, the reaching, grasping tendrils of …In Stille claw towards a sun; yet the escape and salvation promised is not forthcoming, twisted as it is into something else. Yes, it is bleak and heavy, but also by facing up to such darkness, …In Stille offers a kind of catharsis and understanding of those darkest moments.
Built upon a foundation of melodic, depressive black and pagan metal, Frigoris could just as easily be described as post-black metal as DSBM. The songs on …In Stille are lengthy, with appropriately winding structures. The music is given space to grow and evolve, whilst never losing sight of the claustrophobically bleak atmosphere it aims to create. It conjures up quite a duality; the melodic inclinations give …In Stille a relatively accessible edge, but the emotionally-charged atmosphere is never less than absolutely crushing. As such, …In Stille is that rarest of beasts; an album simultaneouslly repellent and hypnotic, seeking to draw the listener in whilst never letting them feel too comfortable or secure.
The end result is an album that ultimately seems to remove the listener from their surroundings, taking them somewhere else for the 65 minute duration of …In Stille. It is an hypnotic album, without ever relying on the tropes of hypnotic black metal – it is rarely repetative, and never relies on sparse atmospherics to conjure its spells. Instead, what keeps attention held is the pure emotional power of the music; as weighty as it can often be (which is only fitting, given the subject matter), this is an album that comes to offer something close to hope.
That emotional duality is the greatest strength of …In Stille. A lot of DSBM relies on cliched, try-hard imagery and tropes to gain attention, but Frigoris understand that the genre is at its best when it is being sincere and human. The honesty that underpins …In Stille can make the album uncomfortable at times, but it also gives it that sense of hope, that things can somehow improve if you can just keep on going for one more day. Black metal too often revels in a sense of existential nihilism, and it is wonderful to come across an album that flips such self-hatred on its head. …In Stille is an absolute triumph, and that rarest of things: an album of genuinely life-affirming black metal.
In : English
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