Within the ever-expanding realms of black metal there are bands who will always be content to follow the old, well-trod paths, from the grim sounds of cold northern darkness to the vicious, thrusting revels that are fueled by hate and inspired by the worship of demons.
But there are others whose ambitions are greater, who seem to extend their reach toward vistas beyond our time and outside our tangible plane of existence, who seek to manifest visions that can’t be put into words, to channel forces beyond our normal perceptions, and to up-end the minds of listeners at the same time. To be sure, this kind of music may also be spawned by disgust for humankind and hatred for the chains with which some bind others, or with which we bind ourselves. But the music seeks not only to capture the dystopian terrors brought about by our own deeply flawed natures but also to cast off and transcend such imprisonments.
Which brings us to the new album by Aversio Humanitatis, and the song from the album we’re presenting today.
These Spaniards have already made their mark, from their 2011 debut album Abandonment Ritual through their 2017 EP Longing For the Untold. But their creativity is restless rather than satisfied. It is no exaggeration to say that their second album, Behold the Silent Dwellers (set for release by Debemur Morti Productions on June 19th), is evidence of a band who have continued to grow and to dramatically expand the reach of their musical visions. It is a meticulously crafted work, well-calculated, through an alchemical transmutation of black metal, psychedelia, and post-metal (among other ingredients) to take listeners far outside themselves, and to give voice to what lies suppressed within us.
As abundantly demonstrated through the song we’re premiering — “The Wanderer of Abstract Paths” — what Aversio Humanitatis have created bedazzles the mind, generating a kaleidoscopic whirl of mystifying and mutilating sensations that pull the listener’s emotions in multiple directions, creating a ravishing narrative of turmoil, despair, madness, and transcendence.
In the low end are pulsating black depths, and high above them are swirling and shivering lights. Slashing chords and eerie, dissonant arpeggios join together, and weird chiming tonalities reverberate, all together creating a bewildering sonic sorcery that somersaults the mind through phases of lunacy and revelation, as the drummer moves through constantly changing rhythmic patterns and progressions. The vocals are themselves as stunning as the music, their emotional power a ravaging spectacle of extravagant, jagged-edge roars, wretched wails, and chest-bursting screams. He truly sounds possessed.
The music fades away and then begins to come to life again, mounting toward a plateau of ominous and magisterial sound and then flying higher, filling the senses to the brim in a cyclonic storm of pummeling drums, raking riffs, and madly flickering leads, as the vocalist lifts his powerful voice into an inflamed yet gritty chant. The music becomes an intersection of the ethereal and the physical, of glorification and devastation.
Debemur Morti describes the album as “an abyss of swirling ebon dissonance using flourishes of despondent psychedelia and unrelenting brutality to accent a menacing Black Metal core.” And further: “The audial manifestation of megalopolitan pathos, concrete skylines and cold dystopian cityscapes, it stands tall and foreboding like the ruins of countless metropolises man will leave behind him”.
It’s definitely the kind of album that makes you reach for metaphors in trying to describe it and the feelings it provokes (as you can tell from my own attempts above). Just ticking off its ingredients in mundane terms would be inadequate, because it’s more than the sum of its parts. But you may have your own metaphors, and your own reference points among other bands you’ve heard.
June 19th is far away. The crumbling world may look far worse by then, or might have begun crawling out of the abyss into which it’s now descending. Either way, this album will be most welcome — and very likely to stand out on many a year-end list.
Pre-order opportunities have been made available today through the links below: