Lorn - _Subconscious Metamorphosis_
(I, Voidhanger Records, 2013)
by: Chaim Drishner (9 out of 10)
It's all about the weapon of choice, in terms of which musical aesthetic to wade in, and the Italian enigma Lorn have chosen to use the hardest, most unfriendly, most difficult metallic instrument of all as their musical backdrop: dissonance.

One would associate dissonance with inaccessibility, with disharmony and discordant cacophony, but lo and behold!, Lorn have managed to create a mesmerizing, cold yet beautiful album from those very hostile building blocks, in a manner only the likes of Blut Aus Nord seemed capable of, resulting in a hypnotic journey through space and mind-altering darkness, be it out there, or down below.

The album is virtually without traditional vocals and almost completely instrumental, with occasional female and male voices appearing more as enhancers of the atmosphere than conveyors of words -- somehow seamlessly incorporated into the tapestry of the incessantly dissonant riffs in order to generate an utter, nightmarish, universal darkness.

The kind of black metal portrayed on _Conscious Metamorphosis_ is almost colorless, bleak and hypnotic due to its endless repetitive riffing and its industrialized, robotic rhythm section that plays slow-to-mid-paced in a ritualistic perpetual, circular way, and overall tone. And yet, the array of unpleasant guitar notes intertwine and complement each other in such a way that the outcome is strangely melodic and even more so, unfathomably beautiful.

If the album's opening tracks still sound somewhat like they confer with bleak, ambient black metal of sorts, the deeper you go into the album's length, the stranger the sound becomes, being constantly removed further from anything familiar to any form of heavy metal. In the end you're just floating in dark, cold space with your mind dissolving into the universal endlessness, as the music becomes colder and bleaker and highly transcendental, adding layers on top of layers of psychedelic mind-fucking.

The songwriting is phenomenal; Lorn use simple riffs, as well as simple song progressions, but because the band are obsessed with dissonance, this very disharmonious factor paints everything with bizarre yet very captivating sonic shades, mostly dark and very much spiritual in their impact.

In the end of this mesmerizing journey through surreal, Lovecraftian vistas, the listener is left drained, exhausted and thoroughly overwhelmed by the increasing oddness and the complexity that intensifies as the album proceeds towards completion, with many questions left unanswered and a quintessential sense of impending doom.

_Conscious Metamorphosis_ is a dialogue with the stars, embodying through the frequencies of this futuristic black metal masterpiece the physical and metaphysical elements, by way of its industrialized and barren facade corresponding with its multidimensional, celestial resonance.

Fans of Virus, Ved Buens Ende and the aforementioned Blut Aus Nord must take this one hour journey to the stars, as it's the best musical vehicle with which one can achieve this task of close-range star-gazing without being a NASA astronaut.

Contact: http://www.i-voidhanger.com/

(article published 24/3/2014)

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