Album Title: In Celebration of the Serpent
Label: Black Plague Records
This is the first full-length record from Caliginosity, an American band playing atmospheric black metal.
This record has a surprisingly thick guitar tone, which I found quite welcome -- the added heaviness is a great contrast to the sick whispered vocals. I really like the double-tracking on the vocals, as well. The drums sound programmed, to my ears, but if they are, they're done well. The occasional synths are well-done, and add quite a bit to the atmosphere.
Caliginosity's songs are relentlessly mid-paced, full of floating instrumental parts and repetitive, mesmerizing riff patterns. The quirky, counterpoint drumming and quietly menacing vocals create a dreamlike atmosphere, one that's extended even further by the measured pace of the songs. The band's occasional use of clean breaks and solos only enhances the mood; the melodic parts got stuck in my head, pulling me in again and again. I think the obvious point of comparison is Judas Iscariot, but Caliginosity is much more polished and technical than Akhenaten ever was, with an oblique approach to songwriting which is clearly original.
The attention to detail here is very obvious. These songs are extremely elaborate and deep, without becoming tedious or overly long. They work well as individual songs, and yet the album is entirely cohesive as a whole -- listening to this is like flowing down a wide river, and I always seem to find myself at the shore before I'd quite noticed it was over. Like "Hvis Lyset Tar Oss", "Distant In Solitary Night", or "The Shining Swords Of Hate", this album seems to lengthen time...
Anyone interested in atmospheric black metal should hear this; it beats the hell out of most of the albums I've heard in that style. Fans of Burzum, Xasthur, Judas Iscariot, Drudkh, and the like will be more than pleased by this. Highly recommended.
Standout tracks: "In Celebration of the Serpent", "Suicide Seduction", "Fallen From Desolate Skies"