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SISYPHEAN - Illusions Of Eternity LP

The most compelling Icelandic-style black metal album of the year is from…Lithuania? Imagine that. In particular, the elegant yet precariously poised atmospherics of Zhrine and the dismal narcotic-drenched dread of Svartidauði. If you can listen to “Nekrokatarsis” without feeling the grip of finality tighten ever so slightly around your throat, then congratulations, you’ve made it! You’re already dead. Throughout Illusions Of Eternity, the guitars expel layer after layer of molten riffage, each searing moment quickly solidifying into the substrate for the next to build from. The tempo fluctuates under this accumulating pressure, heaving dense carbonic discharges into the soot-laden atmosphere at regular intervals, with expectedly deleterious effects. Speaking of volcanic activity, the vocals also bear some resemblance to those of another prominent band from the only place sulphurous enough to make the smell of rotting shark seem appealing, Iceland’s caustic kings Sinmara; with cauterising mid-range roars that seemingly command the musical turmoil they ride atop of. The kind of coercive sound that makes you reconsider continuing to push that proverbial stone uphill; after all, it’s not every day you get the chance to surf a pyroclastic crest down into oblivion, is it?

Black vinyl with inner sleeve. Drakkar Prod. 2017