Underjordiska - _Dystert Vilse_
(Cuckold Productions, 2008)
by: Andreas Marouchos (8 out of 10)
It'd take a band as audacious as Underjordiska to show us just how many levels of abstraction black metal has to be percolated through before it loses its fundamental quiddity. Yet from the active artist's perspective, it would be detrimental to impose any sort of compositional framework on his or her work, and this is exactly the album's main strength -- other than being an experiment in form, its music might lack a utilitarian purpose but it seethes with emotional honesty.

Underjordiska comes to us from the far end of the purist spectrum, where any sort of convoluted instrumentation equals the dilution of essence. Taking this stance to its extremes, Underjordiska has extrapolated the inherent structural minimalism of its stylistic bedrock with an almost mephistophelian familiarity of the genre's rooting. As the percussion goes strangely unmissed, there's only that much dynamicism herein to maintain a sense of order and any perceptible rhythm is more likely a psychological imposition from the mind's part to sift through this audial throbbing of painful shrieks and buzzing guitars.

The contorted schemas of the compositions often fall prey to the menacing and deliberate atonality of the warped guitar work that effectively ensures that the album retains its unsettling qualities. Song thematics are not monolithic; they vacillate between nightmarish jet-black claustrophobia and the heroism of overcoming, of transcendence (the near twenty minute long "Hope" being the distinctive case in point). Being introverted and self-absorbed, the album mocks at musical conventionality and aspires to present us with one of the most distorted forms of black metal aestheticism yet. _Dystert Vilse_ itself has nothing to hide, it lies bare, a naked edifice for discerning eyes; it's not a step forwards nor a step backwards for the genre, but downwards, towards the abyss, towards the Source.

Contact: http://cuckoldprod.altervista.org/

(article published 11/5/2008)


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