Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Absidia...In The Shadow - The Storm (EP) (2013)

For those who haven't had the pleasure of experiencing it first hand, there is a tremendous amount of work and dedication that goes into the pre-production process. Writing, arranging, adjusting, rearranging, rewriting; It seems like a neverending battle before you ever get into the studio in earnest, to actually put your music to digital media. Absidia...In The Shadow, a Moscow based raw black metal band, undoubtedly put in the hours to get their music ready for release. But it is what happens when the record button is pressed that people remember, not the work that went in beforehand. So despiite their best efforts, the EP that makes it's way to you, titled "The Storm," probably isn't what they intended it to be. Two tracks, ten minutes of raw but symphonic-tinged black metal that has all of the necessary elements to put down a classic offering, and yet fails to highlight anything along the way. One layer, one dimension, and a lack of a star leaves this offering feeling flat and awry.

Leading with the title track, "The Storm," there is certainly a heavy reliance on symphonic and synthesized backings here. It is a simple flow of clean guitars and drums, elevated by some brilliantly restrained keyboard work. What makes it successful, even with a tight two minute window attached, as the haunting feeling it leaves as it rolls into the second track, "World Of Rain." With vocals now present, there is a certain roughness to the mix, an added raw element that, somehow, actually generates depth. It is bizarrely alluring, despite lacking an element that takes command of the mix. In fact, it isn't until past the three and a half minute mark that the guitars make themselves known as more than just a layer of distorted chords. They jump out of your speakers for a brief solo, only to step backwards into the fray. That is where the major flaw of the EP comes to the forefront; with no clear leader, the track often feels muddled, despite having a handful of elements at their disposal. Isolating each one with repeated listens, there is plenty going on. But the mix let's the band down.

When Robert Burns wrote "The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men, Gang aft agley," never could he have known the universal application of his words. Better known to the current generation by the English translation, "the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry," it can be placed next to any event, any piece of art, any situation in life. Absidia... In The Shadow must known all too well the depth of it's meaning. Their intentions on this EP seem righteous at their core; symphonic inspired black metal, with a raw edge. And maybe that is what some people will hear when they hit play. But where "The Storm" fails to deliver is in a need for a center stage player. Is it the keys, the guitars, the vocals? Aside from a thirty second blast of wailing guitar solo, there isn't much to hang your hat on when the last notes fade. And that, more than anything else, is where this two track EP goes off the rails. The set up is there, the actors are ready, but the spot light never comes on.


Official Site - http://vk.com/club27180188
Myspace - https://myspace.com/absidiaintheshadow

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