In my humble opinion, no other domain of deeply underground music channels the madness of spiritual devotion, the intensity of unconstrained zealotry, the casting off of self-advancing calculation, as well as black metal. And few other genres so powerfully capture our most deep-seated terrors or so vividly give form to unseen spirits.
Many bands try to channel manifestations of stellar burning chaos through the fashioning of simulacrums — creating reasonable facsimiles of the real thing, but straining too hard to manufacture the explosion of blood and mind that’s the hallmark of authentic blinding fervor and fear. Needless to say, finding music that combines such genuine blast-furnace intensity with mindfulness about details — which channels extravagant emotional inspiration and reaches with straining sinews for the divine, yet reflects a demanding meticulousness about nuances of sound — is a rarity.
But here we have that rarity, in God Without Name, the first album by Aoratos. The emotional effect of the music is astonishing, though at the same time that effect is no surprise at all given the people whose talents are behind the name Aoratos, which means unseen.
At the forefront of those names is Naas Alcameth, who already operates through such entities as Nightbringer and Akhlys. I can’t claim to have many verifiable insights about why he created a new vehicle for his creative drives, and I haven’t engaged in the kind of shoe-leather sleuthing that might reveal the complete answer, even by attempting to compare and contrast this album with his other milestones in a deep legacy of music.
But Debemur Morti Productions, who will be releasing Gods Without Name on March 22nd, discloses that the album is a “reflection of the eidola and egregore arisen from the liminal thresholds” and that it “expands far beyond the themes and sounds within Akhlys“, “probing ever further into the darkness found beyond the boundaries of the profane and waking world of man”. And the following words have appeared on the Aoratos FB page, which provide further clues about the concepts, in addition to what you might glean from the photos you’ll see scattered through this article:
God of the cauldron
Pitchfork and nowl
God of the mare
Crow and the owl
God of the window
And the mirror’s reflection
God of this House
Whose touch is abjection
The other talents who have allied themselves with Naas Alcameth include guitarist and backing vocalist Nox Corvus, drummer extraordinaire Menthor, and backing vocalist Chthonia. Together, they’ve clearly struck the spark of nature’s fire, and the spark of terrors that live in our most frightening and flailing dreams. Witness the first single from the album that we’re premiering today.
The song’s very title — “Thresher” — writes the music’s thesis like bold letters on a giant chalkboard that even the dimmest of acolytes will see. Without question, the song is a great thresher, an extravagant flailing of the scythe by giant hands, but with souls rather than grain as its objects. The whole damned song seems larger than life, a summing up of death-fears and of the kind of white-out, blizzard-like vehemence and obdurate strength that might transcend them. It is a hurricane loosed from the abode of Night.
The album includes undulating drone and dark ambient soundscapes. In DMP‘s formulation, “Cold atmospheres and malevolent whispers of ecstatic dread bookend these horrific hymnals to ‘forbidden plots, barren fields, and haunted abodes'”. But “Thresher” is the whirlwind — a churning malefic storm of miasmic riffing, feverishly pulsing bass tones, explosive drumming, freakish electronics, and tortured screams. Soaring, grandiose melodies and lightning-like leads generate sensations of both horror and poisonous, unearthly magnificence.
This dense maelstrom of sound creates a sweeping and shuddering impact so wholly engulfing that it’s difficult to pay attention to each jot and tittle of this musical narrative of grand mal delirium while it’s happening. But later, after you’ve calmed down a bit, more careful listening will deepen the appreciation of the intelligence and calculated craft behind such ravishing (indeed breathtaking) music. There are manifold textures within the tumult, which combine in ways that are all vital in achieving such a mind-bending and nightmarish portrayal.
Gods Without Name was recorded by Aoratos at Promethean Forge Studios, and was mixed and mastered by Dave Otero at Flatline Audio. The cover art and layout were created by by Bahrull Marta. The band photos were made by MM.
Debemur Morti has set March 22nd as the release date. The album will be available in digipack CD, gatefold 12″ LP, and special edition gatefold 12″ LP, as well as digitally.
North America : http://bit.ly/aoratosUS
Europe : http://bit.ly/aoratosEU
Bandcamp : https://aoratos.bandcamp.com/album/gods-without-name
1. Parallax I (3:51)
2. Holy Mother of Terror (4:14)
3. Of Harvest, Scythe and Sickle Moon (5:20)
4. Gods Without Name (7:03)
5. Thresher (5:56)
6. The Watcher on the Threshold (4:54)
7. Prayer of Abjection (4:09)
8. Dread Spirit of the Place (6:51)
9. Parallax II (2:33)