Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Descantation - Descantation

Another older review, this one from back in 2006...

Descantation hail from Ontario Canada, were formed in 2003 by main man Pestilence, and play black metal. This is, from what I know, to be their only widely released album or widely released to the standards of the band since this is only limited to 50 copies. There isn't a whole lot to say about this album but ill try to at least make an effort at giving a decent description. Three tracks clock in at 11 minutes with the longest being the second track, While the Frozen Air Awaits Morning. This is also my personal favorite track due to the incredible atmosphere and sheer evilness of the song.

Production wise, its not bad in that all the instruments can be heard well. Of course, as is the nature of the product, there is the static that accompanies most underground black metal releases. The guitar tone sounds like its being played through a 12 watt amp turned up to 13 on the dial and the speaker is blown yet regardless the guitar actually sounds fitted to the music. The bass is also well played and never out of key. Vocally, there is nothing new done here but the vocals are mixed well and work more as another instrument than vocals. I would consider them one of the best aspects of this particular album aside from the great melodies. The only perturbance (Yeah... I was using words back then that didn't exist just like I do now) that I noticed was the drumming on the first track which lacked anything that could be called interesting. musicianship isnt bad but its not on par of anything such as Leviathan or Xasthur. Though I would say its a notch better than fellow Canadian, Sabazios Diabolus and his outfit, Lust. The musicianship is not that which would win the award in any particular contest but the slower, doomier last two songs show an incredible ability to create interesting melodies.

The first song is titled Firmament and is the fastest track on the album. It starts off as a mid - hi tempo black metal snare and bass drum pound-fest which then leads on into a great mid section and back out into what sounds to be the beginning of the song played again. Simple yet effective. Nothing meticulously structured or outdone. It starts, your listening, and before you know it, its over. Not a bad opener and it showcases all the strong points of this album - the melodies (especially in the center part of the song), the vocals, and the back to basics nature proving how black metal can be simple yet well done. As I mentioned before, the drums could have been worked with a bit more however I don't think they seriously hinder the music in anyway.

Song two is my favorite on the album and differs quite differently from the first song. gone are... the drums aside from accents here and there. If there was a child daycare service in hell and they had a commercial on television, this would be the theme song. haunting melodies complimented nicely by the eerie twang of the trebly guitar and also a simple bass line following the dark melody make this peice akin to playing with Lucifer while listening to his favorite "soft rock." The song continues on. sadly, the only thing holding this song back is a lack of any variation in the tempo or riffage. Though a great song, it falls slightly short of an excellent song. A little more effort could have made this song classic.

Song three is very slow and very wretched. The first minute of "The death of Fenrir" is nothing but bass and it stays this way for a while. Haunting like the interlude on the first track and the whole of the second track, the song crawls on until it comes it's fading end. an interesting choice for a final track but somehow it works well.

In total, this eleven minute album is quite good as far as underground black metal is concerned. it has its moments and is an interesting listen. for those who are looking for grim, fast, and headbangable black metal, this is NOT what your looking for. Those looking to light candles, sing hymns to the black lord and wander through untouched forests at night, i think you may enjoy this impressive debut but I would turn to masters Drudkh, Astrofaes, Empyrium, and Negura Bunget first.

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