01. Stary Throne Of It
02. Is Venit Ex Abyssus
03. Black Holes, Death Planets
04. The Scenario
05. Surrealistic Shade of Color Black
07. Inner Psy-Trip
08. The Dual Hypostasis of Nihil
09. Magic Chaos Psychedelia
2013 is going to be an interesting year for black metal. 2012 was the first year in a while when black metal bands weren’t the critical darlings; it was the year of doom. Graveyard, Pallbearer, Evokan, Incantation, Samothrace, Om, Amenra; each a different shade of doom, beating out the blackness. However, this last year has shown the genre’s growing expanse. Indeed, it’s developed black hole qualities, consuming all kinds of diverse sounds. The most notable from the last year was Panopticon’s Kentucky, a striking mix combining authentic bluegrass and USBM (I want to call it blackgrass, which sounds like a really good name for something). Even the accepted oddity blackgaze is spawning weird creatures like Aluk Todolo, who mix kraut rock with black metal on their third LP Occult Rock.
In 2013 then, it could be considered a little unfashionable producing blackened death so close to the line. In a season when genre lines are blurring, identities coming under question, and new frontiers are being ranged and fought over, it’d be easy to discard a record that doesn’t confront us with strange sound combinations. Yet, after a period of experimentation, a period of consolidation and refinery is in order. The hordes of darkness have been founding new lands while the doom apocalypse passes over. Now it’s time to gather its strength again in 2013. In this inaugural vanguard is Enshadowed, experienced Greeks who have been biding their time with third full length Magic Chaos Psychedelia.
Cursing temples since 1998, Enshadowed have spent nine years refining their craft for this LP, taking thorough looks at fellow countrymen Rotting Christ, Our Fathers Immortal, and colleagues Secrets of the Moon; what we have here is muscular riffage with crisp production. Announcing themselves with an erupting roar that rips through stomach, heart, and throat on “Stary Throne Of It”, it then makes way for some frozen hammer riffs, falling down steps into a cavern’s blackness that stains the very air. Enshadowed are your hysterical guide. They lead the way for the listener; calling to follow with high-pitched shrieks through dark, claustrophobic tunnels pierced with jagged stalactitic riffs. These Greeks don’t mean you any good.
By “Surrealist Shade of Color Black” things slow down, and a Morbid Angel-style death metal riff caves in a way out. There’s no light now. The song escalates; the lecture from vocalist ‘Serpent’ hits a massive yowl and the riffs climb, crawling like insects; thousands within the serrated crevices of the guitar tone. They go faster and faster, waking the tunnel with a hive mind, making it sway on the backs of six-legs. Enshadowed have led you down into this fissure of hell and now begin work on the mind.
The last three songs deliver the titular promises of psychedelia, and, with freshly injected hazey disorder, they are devoted to wearing down the resolve of those lost in the underworld. These songs are the longest on the record and least straightforward, but they are Enshadowed at their best. Previous cuts were mad dashes, heavy-handed assaults, hammering riffs. On “The Duel Hypostasis of Nihil” especially, there’s a more cunning, intricate web-like trap. The long, loping sections of reverb and melodic riffing lulls, then the piercing crashing glass riff paralyses. These last few songs end the record on a high, and show Enshadowed able to experiment a little too.
If Magic Chaos Psychedelia is a sign of things to come in 2013, then it will be a good year for black metal.