Friday, November 1, 2013

... The code is calling : GRAVECODE NEBULA 'Sempiternal Void' (Album Review)

"Ever since the Gravecode Nebula/Krieg 7" split was released in 2011, a full-length debut album has been a highly anticipated release by this nigredic death coven from Salt Lake City. The psychedelic funeral doom group has carefully conjured more than 60 minutes of deeply ominous tracks, collectively entitled "Sempiternal Void."

The album takes the listener on a journey through twists and turns of kaleidoscopic indignation and madness, plunging them deep into the somber blackness and radiant beauty of the void. This is not a concept record in itself, but rather a genesis of the realization that the vastness of the universe is beyond comprehension; the harsh environment of outer space and nothingness is where all life, and ultimately death, is cultivated. These are the sounds of all that is bleak, discordant, acrid, dissonant, and ultimately empty of all forms of human compassion.
"Sempiternal Void" is now available via the Baneful Genesis label's Bandcamp page from today  November 1st. A double LP will be available in 2014."

Steve Miller was warmly recommending this band after the Denver Doom Fest last month and I did quickly discovered their sound with excitement, the kind of funeral blackened Doom which I dig to drown into, reminding me at times another excellent local band called Stoic Dissention... If the style of Gravecode Nebula sounds pretty much actual and may be attached to the specific scene of punishing blackened Doom/noise, to my ears they're different from other bands like Primitive Man for example, there's not that same dissonance and filthiness here, ultimately the band sounds more Metal in its overall approach which is a very good point I think, but believe me it's damn brutally heavy and punishing too. 

Also "Funeral" is not to be expected in terms of classical (too) long and repetitive mournful moods but more in a nebulous occult aura enveloping their alchemical quest of chaos.

With - to start, 3 songs lasting between 11 and 14 minutes, the band sets nicely growing atmospheres and get a poisonous substance out of them to infect your blood and soul ! nothing too extensive and droning though, an haunting menace always predomine but the tempos are varied with long instrumental-driven soundscapes,introspective incantatory chapters, sick accelerations or slowed to agonize assembly of creepy sounds, funerary keyboards...The word psychedelic must be also understood differently from usual, not exactly for an avalanche of frantic guitars - it would be more for the state of mind it's been composed in and is managing to put you in too... like a mysterious protuberant black mushroom infusion, rather than classical tasty weed, hahaha! 

The 3 other songs which constitute the 2nd part of the album are 9 minutes pieces, more rough and brutal (most notably 'Lethal Aether') but still giving place to spooky atmospheres and a feeling of surrounding demise (closer "Abhorrent Absorbant"), they don't mark any break in the tense and obscure experience of aural pain that Gravecode Nebula insidiously inflicts you... just the order of the songs could have put one of them in 2nd or 3rd row of the album tracklist but that's more of a detail than a mistake.

All in all, with the very special, refined yet disturbing - concoction of Black and Doom they did here, Gravecode Nebula offer the best HALLOWEEN present you could ever imagine ! enjoy this masterpiece with more than one hour of hellish atmospheres, punishing vocals and soothsaying dementia ! One of this year's greatest surprises for sure...

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