Aosoth

Ashes of Angels

Agonia Records 2009

Aosoth is another in a unending wave of quality French black metal bands.  With links to Antaeus, don't be fooled Aosoth is more rhythmic and with a heavier, denser production.  Songs Without Lungs builds steadily with a thick guitar that lapses into moments of "rockiness" as it seeks to level heaven's hosts.  The title track has a certain Nordic flair to the music that falls in with stylistic aesthetics similar to bands like Koldbrann and in some regards, Mayhem.  Blast beats and cold guitars decimate the armies of the living.  Disharmonic riffs fester and infect your ears as Path of Twisted Lights slowly uncurls its ghastly fingers so they can clench themselves around your trembling soul.  These dissonant notes and ominous drum patterns whirl in a circular motion lending the song a hypnotic effect.  Teaching / Erasing combines straight-forward riffs that feel as they are somehow sliding and merges them with turbulent bursts of dissonance for a very disorienting sensation, like the ground beneath you is slipping away, or perhaps it is the philosophical falsities you have clung to all your life that are fading away.  A hissing cymbal ride and a cold, cruel riff scrape your ears as Cries Out of Heaven begins.  Then a pillar of chugging black metal density rises from this spiritual morass to bash away all sense of altriusm.  Only selfish darkness remains as this cycle repeats.  Banished is up next and it devastates with relentless, rapid-fire drumming and a scalding flame of hellfire riffing.  To cement the relationship between the two French bands the album closes with a cover of Antaeus' Inner War.  The drum production is not good.  Really sharp cymbals and a drum machine feel to certain snare and cymbal strikes.  Though many of their countrymates are more readily recognizeable and "creative," Aosoth certainly does not lack conviction.  Aosoth is cold, cruel Satanic art.