Not Last Rise 

Eerie Torture 2013

Atmospheric Russian black metallers, Not Last Rise, have penned and executed an album that is complex and versatile.  Right from the outset of My Soul Is Flesh you know you are in for something slightly out of the norm.  The acoustic guitar, strange drums and whispered voice that begin the song are swept away by swaying blackened riffs and dreamy bass lines that bring to mind a warped Ved Buens Ende.  The power and violence of the track continues to rise in volume and intensity until it completely explodes in a whirlwind of speed at the 2:30 mark.  A calm, dreary guitar and storm sample sooth the listener's soul as the song concludes.  Touch A Cold is the opposite as it is immediately aggressive with cold, mutating riffs and rumbling drums twisting and like trees in a windstorm.  Engaging bass work really adds character and depth to the songwriting on Sfumato.  The riffs border on melodic as the track continues to grow and expand.  The music drops into doomier territory only to be brushed aside by a maelstrom of churning riffs and drum patterns.  The track once again becomes loose and takes on an almost jazzy vibe, especially with the bass guitar.  A beautiful clean guitar imbues a crystalline nature to a portion of the 14+ minute track.  Whisper is anything but its name, a whisper.  It is a languid and chilling black metal dirge from the outset.  The pace slowly quickens until this becomes a full onslaught of icy proportions.  An explosion of drum patterns and a flurry of riffs form a constant barrage on your eardrums.  With that said, this is the most coherent song of the album.  Ghostly, lingering riffs and ghoulish vocals form the song's final movements.  The final track, Afflatus (Iris) is an 18+ minute epic of gloomy darkness and frigid gusts of feverish guitar and spastic drums.  Acoustic guitar caresses dissonant riffs and free-flowing bass as the track's personality becomes apparent.  This is a dream-like journey through your abyssic subconscious thanks to mystical sounding riffs that remind me once again of Ved Buens Ende.  The final two minutes of the album are the haunting exhalation of grim vocals and acoustic guitar.  This is a highly developed band with complex and interesting songwriting despite the fact that Sfumato is their debut album.  If you like your black metal to be out of the ordinary then Not Last Rise will certainly appeal to your refined tastes.