Au-Dessus - End Of Chapter - (8.5/10)
Published on July 30, 2017
While Lithuania may not be the most well known for their black metal scene, the quality of the releases that tend to come from the country is high. Au-Dessus is no exception here, as their brand of post black metal feels oppressive, yet manages to maintain some melody and a nice structure to keep things listenable. Forming in just 2014, this four-piece only has one prior EP under their belt, but are already showing some great prowess in the genre. Coming from Les Acteurs de l’Ombre Productions, the band’s first full-length, End Of Chapter, is a dark listen, and one that gives a great glimpse into what this band is all about.
While there are still plenty of atmospherics and melody in the course of this release, Au-Dessus tends to focus on a more oppressive sound, and less on the light or “airy”side of things. While the guitars tend to be heavy, the tone is also quite dark, with the riffs providing a lot of memorable moments, but never losing the feeling of anger or pummeling the listener. The lead work is solid as well, with even more memorable licks, and really adding in just enough bits of “light” at times to allow the record to be broken up enough and not completely suffocate the listener. Vocally, there is some great variety to the release, and while the majority of the vocals tend to stay in the more gravelly mid range, there are some great screams and even a bit of clean vocals near the end of the release to actually give the last track a near cathartic feel.
While the guitars and vocal are very pronounced in the album, it does feel that the production does perhaps become slightly overbearing at times, and tends to somewhat drown out the drums and bass. That is not to say they are not present or do not give the album a nice full feeling, it just feels as it there could be a tad more equality given to the various instruments. Aside from that though, the record does give the listener a lot to absorb. With only the seven tracks and near 50 minute play-time, the songs are jam packed with a lot,but never feel over powering. There is a good sense of flow from each track to the next and each section to the next, keeping the interest level up fir the album’s duration.
While four men is Au-Dessus are just getting their feet under them with this project, it is clear that they know their way around the genre, and have no problem showcasing that. Putting their best foot forward would be an understatement for this release, but still there are few things that could be tweaked on upcoming records. Never-the-less, End Of Chapter is a strong debut ful-length and well worth the investment.