(Andy Synn combines two reviews in this post, one each for the latest two releases by the Australian band Mesarthim.)
If you want to upset a wide swathe of the Metal and Metal-adjacent public, just play them something by Atmo-Black Trance duo Mesarthim.
Too spacey and synth-driven for most of the Black Metal scene, too upbeat and dancey for the Dungeon Synth crowd, and too abrasive for the Synthwave crew, the duo’s (incredibly prolific) output has proven to be exceptionally divisive over the years, even as it has also attracted an incredibly dedicated fanbase who can’t seem to get enough of the band’s signature blend of bleeps, bloops, and blasts.
That being said, I know I’m not the only one who felt like the group’s most recent works – most notably 2018’s Coma Wall EP and last year’s Ghost Condensate album – didn’t quite achieve the same sense of balance and equilibirum between the various disparate elements of their sound (although not for lack of trying) which helped define the band’s earlier works.
Which makes the recent surprise release of The Degenerate Era, the fifth full-length Mesarthim album in five years, an opportunity to reset and reassess things… for both the band and their fans.