Dysangelium - Thánatos Áskēsis - (8/10)
Published on January 4, 2015
Formed in 2009, German black metal band Dysangelium crept into the black metal scene with their debut demo Exordium, which dropped in 2013. The band’s penchant for swirling dissonance and chaotic melodies caught the ear of World Terror Committee, who released the band’s second demo, Leviaxxis, in the summer of 2014, with the promise of an upcoming full length album later in the year. December 2014 saw World Terror Committee making good on that promise, releasing Dysangelium’s Thánatos Áskēsis a week before the end of the year.
The band’s debut full length brings the same formula of the demos, yet fleshes it out around the edges for a fuller, more immersive listen. If any complaints could be lodged against the band’s earlier material, it’s that they did not capitalize on their murky dissonance as well as they could have. Sure, their music was (and still is) steeped in the depths of the German black metal scene, calling to mind the likes of Kvlt of Hiob and Ascension with a nod to the contemporary Swedish black metal scene of Watain and Valkyrja, but the short running time of the demos never allowed the music to capture the listener as well as it could. Thánatos Áskēsis aims to correct that issues with forty-five minutes of cryptic black metal, featuring a varied display of swirling chaos and brooding melodies.
Starting with a rather haunting introduction, “Consecrated by Light” quickly builds into fast paced paced trem riffs, blasting drums and Sektarist 0’s grating, throaty shouts. Right from the opening track the band weaves in a dose of melody through the trem patterns and minor key picking, which continues throughout the entire album. Each track waxes and wains, storming along with fiery blasting and abruptly switching gears to mid-paced rhythms and restrained, minor key guitar picking. “Murmura” shows the band’s tendancy to fluctuate between the two styles and while, on paper, it would seem that the sound would be herky jerky, their seamless movements between the passages are a tribute to the honed songwriting of the band.
The murky production and varied assault of Dysangelium’s debut full length show them standing head to head with the likes of Watain and Blaze of Perdition. Stark melodies set against a backdrop chaotic and dissonant black metal, Thánatos Áskēsis delivers what the band’s demos promised. The longer playtime allows the band’s varied assault to sink in and fully take root. Fans of Blaze of Perdition, Watain and Ascension will certainly not want to miss this one.