Chaos Moon - _Resurrection Extract_
(I, Voidhanger Records, 2014)
by: Chaim Drishner (7.5 out of 10)
The opening for _Resurrection Extract_ is simply gorgeous; spacey and shoegazey and quite ethereal. 40 seconds into "Seeing Through One I", the album's opening track, and the beautiful prologue gives way to some fast, blasting yet rather thin-sounding form of black metal of the high-pitched, sparse and spacious kind; layered sounds that are more commonly found among the post-black metal circles, and gritty yet typical rasps that tie the knot between shoegaze rock and black metal.

Taking off using this album as a vehicle, from a bird's eye perspective one can see the album is more varied than it seems on first impression. The velocities change from hyper fast to ultra slow, sometimes verging on being something akin to the black/doom aesthetic, and there are those buzzing guitars that have been used as a constant and fundamental infrastructure to the finer compositions on display.

_Resurrection Extract_ is one of those black metal albums that are era-centric, that is to say albums that mirror the time and age of their creation; albums that couldn't have been composed in any other time in the past due to them being the very vessels echoing the current state of affairs in the global black metal movement. This music aspires to become greater than mere black metal, shedding off almost every tie to the style's most basic "rules and regulations" so to speak, adopting methodologies that have more substantial ties with the Cascadian nature-centric sound as well as with shoegaze rock and such, than with pure breed black metal. If The Angelic Process had had aspirations to become a black metal band, they would have sounded pretty much like what's being played on _Resurrection Extract_, give or take a note or two.

If you have been dwelling for long enough within the post-black metal realm, and have got yourself acquainted well enough with the groups and musical outputs related to that 'movement', you wouldn't find this album utterly unique. This modus operandi has been done a lot by other bands, both by those who abandoned black metal and those who had never been associated with black metal in the first place.

This is a kind of album that could be liked by a broader audience and not only by black metal freaks; purists will probably find it too mellow, too gentle and removed from the basics; others will find it utterly beautiful and transcendental. The very non-definitive nature of the recording, the difficulty in defining its true essence, make this an interesting listening experience for the questions it raises and the answers it conceals.

One thing is certain, though: _Resurrection Extract_ is a well crafted album with many magical moments and potent songwriting ability. It also possesses a divine sense of atmosphere and the deep understanding of how to compose music that will sound both highly spiritual and vitriolic -- not in the sense of being exceptionally heavy or dark, but rather something that simply makes the listener uncomfortable and intrigued, being swallowed by the enormous, star-lit, hazy, dreamy ambiance; a halo of broken dreams and broken hearts.

Despite the intimidating and truly dark cover art and the overall visual aesthetic of the album, this isn't some ultra dark, ferociously heavy, ripping black metal album. The music is surprisingly sublime and ethereal and holds in its midst nothing of the harrowing, Satanic, bestial characteristics of the figure on its cover. It's another form of darkness. Optimistic? Life affirming? You shouldn't go that far, but this music, the way it is engineered and delivered, sounds like hope. Like the light at the end of the tunnel; a ray of sunlight sneaking through a thick layer of black clouds. You may feel the black clouds closing in on you, but you will also know the sun is out there. And although the music on _Resurrection Extract_ never promises to deliver that ray of light eventually, this little hope is better than none, I guess.

_Resurrection Extract_ is a sonic cognitive dissonance, if there ever was one. It wants you to hear its blackened metal essence, yet it delivers something else; kind of star-gazing, soul-searching, sad ode to the cosmos, the one beyond our realm and within ourselves, brought forth not by metal but by something gentler and more refined than the crudeness and brute force governing most of heavy metal.

If I had not known The Angelic Process already, I would have said this album is probably the best metal-oriented shoegaze rock I have ever listened to. Knowing the former's wonderful _Weighing Souls With Sand_, I can say the latter's _Resurrection Extract_ is not a shock in terms of novel aesthetics or admixture of such, but it is a rather well crafted homage to one of the greatest post-rock / shoegaze rock albums ever written. Not evil, nor dark, and dubiously even black metal per definition, this album is however an experience you are well advised to share with me or with anyone who's ever enjoyed and been deeply touched by the music of The Angelic Process, but also likes his/her music rougher and edgier and more metal-oriented.


(article published 29/12/2014)

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