0Xist - _One Eon_
(Death Shrine Offerings, 2015)
by: Chaim Drishner (7.5 out of 10)
After more than a couple of years of silence, Finnish 0xist are presenting their latest dark metal opus, in the form of this, anti-life creation dubbed as _One Eon_. Still very much in the vein of the band's previous recording _Nil_, this is dark metal at its finest, mixing power, brooding ambiance and melody into one entity of somber frequencies, refining those into a single voice of negativity.

0Xist's music has never been challenging or technical -- they don't give a rat's ass about those attributes in the music they create -- and to say it's unadventurous would be a major understatement. However, it brings to life that era when Samael's _Blood Ritual_ and some years later Alastis' _The Other Side_ were the only true dark metal albums around, even before that very arguable subgenre had been coined as a meaningful phrase of sorts.

Sure, years later, upon the resurrection of Celtic Frost, _Monotheist_ has struck everybody as a massive dark metal album that arrived as if out of nowhere, harvesting rave reviews and praise from here to kingdom come. But Celtic Frost did not invent anything new with that album; they just echoed the aesthetics that had been established and implemented years before the inception of _Monotheist_, blending linear compositions with the somberness of black metal and the pace as well as the romanticism of doom metal, creating a unique atmosphere that couldn't be associated with any of the existing, well-established styles of metal out there. Our guess is _Monotheist_ has been praised so much as it has mainly because dark metal bands have always been a scarcity, and the aesthetic of _Monotheist_ was of a foreign nature to the masses -- thus garnering an appreciation, not because of the great music this very album contained, but due to the fact it has brought something new, alien; something that dodged both black metal and death metal; it indeed mixed the two, yes, but sounded like neither. Coupled with the slow pace of doom metal, this new/old style of music became the underground's hot topic.

But in truth, _Monotheist_ was nothing more than a homage to the aforementioned Samael and Alastis albums, given an updated, contemporary production that rendered the music darker and gave it more punch. Those who were well familiar with either Samael's or Alastis' earlier recordings didn't find _Monotheist_ that revolutionary.

Enter 0Xist, who aren't Swiss but rather Finnish, and revive yet again that very accurate and precise form of metal dubbed as dark metal. 0Xist play straightforward metal in the vein of Samael and Alastis, sans the keyboards. Their metal is plodding, intimidating and guitar-driven. The riffs are extremely simple yet charged with an inherent sonic darkness, and the leads are tragedy-laden and despairing. The only evidence to the black metal origins _One Eon_ possesses can be found in the vocals; raspy, barren and vitriolic, yet restrained.

The music is a thrashing, but slow-tempo display of distortion and simple drumming, although contrary to the simplicity of the tunes, the atmosphere generated by the music is extremely and potently dark, brooding, even menacing.

Slightly more varied than the full-length debut, _One Eon_ is a milestone in modern dark metal that takes the listener on a tour through the dark minds of these Finnish musicians and into the caverns of hell itself inside the human soul; a depressive journey into the pits of existential purgatory and the abolishment of life as we know it. With spoken verses and some surprisingly good clean singing, _One Eon_ is a mature and indeed very dark musical artwork that has been created by musicians who know how to portray a grey world of hopelessness through sounds, using only the basics, harnessing those to create a massive work of despair and lightlessness.

Those who are into the anti-light music of Samael, Alastis and Celtic Frost's _Monotheist_ should bear in mind light does not shine also in Finland, not just Switzerland. If you like metal, this album is for you. If you like your metal dark, with a capital D, this album is where it's at. Enjoy the downfall of man!

Contact: http://www.zeroexist.net/

(article published 16/2/2015)

3/2/2013 C Drishner 8 0XiST - Nil
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