Over the course of two demos released by Caligari Records in 2017 and 2018 (and later released in a vinyl compilation by Iron Bonehead Productions), the enigmatic French band Amnutseba demonstrated a mastery in the creation of unpredictable and unnerving black metal. In reviewing them (here and here), we characterized the first demo as “dissonant, delirious, and disorienting”, “fiery and ferocious, marauding and majestic, eerie and ominous”, and the second one as “pensive and petrifying, brawling and beautiful, unearthly and apocalyptic”. And the reviews included a lot more adjectives besides those.
Amnutseba’s creations on those first demos spawned so many adjectives in this quarter not only because the music was so intricate and labyrinthine but also because it produced so many visceral responses, usually frightening but also mesmerizing, and in its bewildering permutations it was also capable of seeming revelatory.
Little wonder that so many underground-dwellers familiar with Amnutseba have been so anxious for a full-length album by this mysterious entity since falling prey to those first recordings, and now we’re about to get one: On March 27th Iron Bonehead Productions will release the first Amnutseba full-length, the name of which is Emanatism. Not surprisingly, it is wondrously otherworldly — and scary as hell.
One track from the album (“Dislumen“) has already escaped into the world, as if suddenly freed from Pandora’s Box, and today we’re ushering in another one, named “Tabula“.
This newest song is 9 minutes long. It changes repeatedly, but the overarching effect of it is to process the rational part of your mind through a shredder and to wreck havoc on any desires for comfort and security. But somehow, it’s also simply dazzling.
The track’s opening is jolting and jarring and gets the listener’s pulse jumping in a hurry. It also provides an introduction to the vocal terrors in the music, which become even more horrifying as the song proceeds along its twisted path. When the rhythm changes to an amalgam of booming and tumbling drums and thrusting bass, the riffing transforms into a delirious mass of caustic roiling sound. As the music shifts back into that magnificent hammering assault, the vocals become a weird wailing manifestation (and later a shrieking horror).
There is a bridge in which the music morphs into a softened pulse segmented by drum detonations, and after that the bass and the distorted chords throb, and then seem to dance in a deranged waltz, both delighted and demented in its mood. When the vocals return, they manifest as a convocation of mayhem and madness. The song seems to stop, but resumes in a lurching stomp, accompanied by discordant fanfares and dissonant, seething sensations. The experience is hallucinatory — or “nightmarish” may be a better word.
The variable drumming and humming bass-work aids in producing the mentally destabilizing effects created by the unhinged vocals and the preternatural guitar emanations, which seem to soar as well as swarm. Near the end, we hear what might be the voices of tortured angels.
Iron Bonehead will release Emanatism on LP and CD. Again, the release date is March 27th.
In addition to today’s premiere, we’re including a stream of the first-released track “Dislumen“, which our friend Rennie (of starkweather) described as “eerie and oppressive… displaying electronic wrinkles and furthering their insectile chattering guitarwork to excruciating levels bordering on Portal insanity.”