Monday, 12 March 2012

The Illusionary Contortionist - Euphoria

Self Released 2011

1.I Have Become 2.The Mobius Strip 3.Euphoria
4.Achroma 5.I Am The Lost Phrophet

No fucking around here, ‘I Have Become’ hits you like hate filled, brutal blasting fist square on in the face, a storm of blast beats and frenzied black metal-esque riffing stream rolls straight into you in a barrage of melodic lead blackened death metal. The band incorporates several styles; the most prevalent being Swedish inspired black/death metal with a dose of Norwegian black metal to give their sound that brutal edge. It’s really compelling stuff, especially when the tremolo picked melodic guitars kick in, extremely brutal and overwhelmingly catchy. ‘The Mobius Strip’ starts by slowing the pace somewhat before all hell is again unleashed in a barrage of hate filled blast beats and furious riffing, again all finished off with an over-riding sense of melody. Vocally things are as you would expect, screamed black metal stlye, full of hate and anger. The pace is again slowed and a cleanly sung passage is introduced over ice cold black metal riffing and when the screamed vocals are added makes for an extremely captivating piece of music. The sense of desperation is exhausting here, the song really beginning to gather pace without any let up in sight, again frenzied drumming accompanies ice cold black metal riffing, finishing in an absolute torrent of hatred.
‘Euphoria’ continues the storm perfectly, once again we see the precise and brutal blast beats accompanying some extremely catchy ‘Norweigian Black Metal’ stlye riffing. To add variety, the song slows to a crawl, acoustic guitars taking over and adding a whole new dimension to the band’s sound. This is almost certainly what the band’s “Experimentalist” description is describing and it works really well, never losing the atmosphere or sounding out of place amongst the black metal which is contained in the rest of the song. No vocals which is interesting, making this instrumental, the music more than enough to keep you engaged. ‘Achroma’ sees the band slow slightly, a more mid-paced affair to kick things off. However, this never last longs, Sage’s drumming a real highlight and setting the pace perfectly with more rabid blast beats. As ever, melody driving the ice cold riffing which again makes for an extremely enjoyable piece of music.
Closing this e.p. is ‘I Am The Lost Phrophet’ and what a closer this is, an absolute monster of a track, raging and as brutal and catchy as the band have sounded so far. The e.p cover has the warning “Human Advisory, Beast Within” which is very apt, there’s a real beast raging here, an ice cold, melodic and brutal black metal beast! Some cleaner vocals once again used to add more variety before quickly returning the preferred harsh screaming. This e.p really can’t be recommended highly enough. Would be great to see this transferred into a pro label release. If these guys haven’t been picked up by a label, then they should be. They definitely have a lot to offer and although the band do have that “Experimentalist” in their description, this really shouldn’t put off hardened black metal fans, That side to their music only adds to their sound rather than distracting it. Well recommended.

8.5 out of 10

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