We’ve come to depend on I, Voidhanger Records as a source of unusually interesting releases, a label that continually forms partnerships with talented bands whose music is far off the usual beaten paths. The label’s latest discovery is a French band named Absconditus, whose debut album Kατάβασις is now scheduled for release on June 8, with eye-catching cover art by UK talent Bethany White. Today we have the pleasure of bringing you a sample of what Absconditus have created, through our premiere of the album’s third track, “Elegeía (Confession au Cénotaphe)“.
I’ve seen the word “ritualistic” used to describe certain kinds of black metal, and I’ve used the word myself, without ever trying to form a clear mental definition of what it means. There are passages in this new song that bring the word to mind — segments of music that are slow, solemn, and surrounded by an aura of initiation and mystery. Those segments are themselves massively heavy, ominous, and dissonant, with a liturgy voiced by what sounds like a demonic beast. But this is only a part of this long song.
The music also includes movements of ravaging ferocity and power, with booming bass lines that shake the earth, the frenzied writhing of riffs and arpeggios that make a virtue of discordance, and a searing guitar solo. The music is unsettling, but brilliantly inventive and thoroughly engrossing.
“Avant garde” is another adjective that is probably overworked in metal circles, but it comes to mind in the case of this song as well. Whether conjuring images of an occult ceremony or charging ahead like an unpredictable whirlwind, the song is mesmerizing — and electrifying. And it only whets our appetite for more of this album.
As noted, Kατάβασις will be released on June 8. The track list is as follows:
1. Prologue à l’Agonie (03:30)
2. Mystagogie des Limbes (08:46)
3. Elegeía (Confession au Cénotaphe) (09:24)
4. Exultet – L’Aurore Schismatique (08:39)
5. Hybris au Bord du Précipice (07:56)
6. Le Nouvel Astre (03:09)
For more information, visit these locations — and then immerse yourselves in this new song: