This was released three years ago? Really? Originally released in conjunction with a magazine, SAMMATH NAUR’S “Self-Proclaimed Existence” has now been re-released and I can’t help think that at the time, it must have been considered ahead of its time. Hell, in a way that can be said even now. For some reason I am reminded of a certain Mr. Townsend whose music always challenges the listener to think and listen a bit further, SAMMATH NAUR’s arrogant bravery to explore new musical fields strike me in a similar manner.
By no means do they sound alike however - what you will hear here is Avantgarde Black Metal with a strong lashing of Death Metal. It is clear from the screaming vocals, the eerie and symphonic keyboards and the epically melodic riffs that the soul of the album is purely Black Metal, but playing as big a part are the deep growls, technical drumming and vicious tempo changes. All this is great, but what makes it special is the myriad of ideas and influences that can be heard throughout the album, transcending through Symphonic Film Score stuff and enough Electronic sounds to make your eyes blink. The band never loses touch with its core sound though and they never give the impression that they are floundering around in a sea of blatant experimentation. “Self-Proclaimed Existence” is never overly Symphonic either and, rather than play a leading role, the symphonies enhance the melody, varies the intensity and gives the album some needed flair.
Truthfully, the album requires a few listens to unfold and reveal some of the wonderful melodies and JEAN MICHEL JARRE-esque soundscapes hidden behind the barrage of pounding drums, guttural screams and aggression. Some may feel the music is too busy and cacophonous and it certainly is not something you would quickly throw on in the background at a party. It is perfect however for those moments when you don’t feel like thinking of anything real, and want to escape to a world where music takes over your mind and occupies your every sense.
(Online July 22, 2008)