Renascent Misanthropy (Reissue)
posted on 9/2008 By:
Yep, I'm reviewing a one-year-old reissue of a five-year-old album. That may seem like an exercise in futility, considering the large amount of quality fresh metal that's been released this year, but I believe this record deserves a quick moment under a MetalReview spotlight.
If you love the style of black metal that came out of Norway in the late 90's, particularly Emperor and Satyricon, you need to put Australia's Astriaal in the back of your mind. Renascent Misanthropy, the band's sole full-length release, is chiefly stamped from the same cleanly produced, pedal-to-the-black-metal die perfected by those Scandinavian bands of yore: the guitars attack with bee-swarm, tremolo-picked fury; the drums kick, pummel and roll with surprising expertise; the vocals rasp and holler as if scraped with stone; and the bass, sadly, is as thin as Kate Moss on a strict diet of blow. What gives Astriaal their own zest, however, is the way they generally abandon keyboard atmospherics in favor of peppering most of their songs with short, celestial measures accented with lofty, sweeping guitar licks and the occasional clean-sung vocals. In some instances, these moments are reminiscent of the airy, mellow spans used in the '96/'97 era of Hypocrisy, and they certainly give Renascent Misanthropy further depth by balancing out its animus.
Again, I realize there's plenty of solid new releases warring for your hard-earned cash this year, so this record isn't likely to be considered a top priority, but Renascent Misanthropy really is quite enjoyable, and it deserves to become a part of your collection if you're a big fan of late 90's era Norwegian-styled black metal.
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