Third album for Avichi, the black metal project of Aamonael (also member of Lord Mantis and previously of Nachtmystium), and if you think that another one man black metal act is something you are not interested in then you better think again. With Catharsis Absolute, Aamonael manages to take his twisted concept of US black metal a step further, going down the same path as with The Devil’s Fractal.
The twisted piano intro of “Repercussion” leads to a brutal onslaught of black metal riffology as “Flames in My Eyes” raises its ugly head. The dissonant vibe of the track is always present making the experience of Catharsis Absolute completely sickening. Aamonael brilliantly uses clean vocals in parts over this sea of disharmony and violence to create a vivid contrast, with the relentless drumming always present. Avichi simply offers a great deal of information that needs to sink into your system. From the hellish chants and the despairing riffs to the black metal screams and destructive drums, this is a track that will not leave your mind.
The keyboards on “Lightweaver” come as a bit of a surprise, giving a strange majestic vibe to the track. On top of that Aamonael throws in some epic riffs to make things a bit more interesting… and it fucking works! And after the lead guitar comes in at about two thirds of the song with its up lifting vibe you can only accept that Catharsis Absolute will be stuck inside your head for a long time, and if that was not enough, yet another surprise is about to drop in with “Voice of Intuition.” The pace retreats to a more mid tempo territory and the sorrowful melodic riff comes in leaving you speechless. Of course that is just a brief interlude and soon Avichi return to their annihilating form with the roaring guitars and constant beating of the drums kicking you right in the face. The repetitive manner of the track actually works in the band’s advantage making the whole process even more uncomfortable for the listener.
Through the previous tracks Avichi is comfortably changing their form, throwing in melodic riffs, clean vocals, sorrowful moments and mid tempo parts. But nothing compares to what comes with “All Gods Fall.” The longest track of the album sees Aamonael gather all his strength for one final push. With the slow start and ritualistic aura of the track, the listener is transformed to a different era in time. The eerie riffs come back in with an icy and desolate sense, as Avichi take its time with this song and are not rushing. The development is slow and steady but is worth the wait for what comes next is one of the finest moments this band has ever unleashed. The drums come in soon after and the whole track explodes when the clean vocals come out of the blue as Aamonael manages to fit in his dissonant and aggressive album an almos tBathory-an moment, making this one of his most daring endeavors. I guess that a lot of people will not like that track and then many people will love it, personally I think it is fucking great!
Finally the title track closes the album, in a similar manner as with the intro song, “Repercussion.” Aamonael uses a haunting melody on the piano to awaken the unearthly feeling of the music. Once again repetition is used in order to enhance a sense of strange awareness and terror, as if when the piano part is concluded something terrible will happen.
Catharsis Absolute is a very unique black metal record, in the sense that Avichi remain true to the extreme US black metal scene but they are also not forgetting their roots. It takes a lot to be able to contain such aggression and retain a very atmospheric sound in the same album.
8.5 / 10
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