Melencolia Estatica 'Hel' review

(Temple Of Torturous)

Ambient black metal hailing out of Italy and is the vision of Climaxia (now there is a name, heh), whose vision is Melencolia Estatica, she handles the overall concept, guitar, bass, and “vocal orchestrations”. I guess that last bit means she plans out and coaches the vocalists every move and emanation? Speaking of which the vocals, they are really often more of the dark death metal variety, set to sometimes ambient and other times noisy harsh aggression. Something about the music does not flow for me, maybe that is the way it was intended to be, but often the guitar patterns and tones are just grating rather than atmospheric, the different instrument sounds seem to clash again at times and step upon one another’s toes. For me, rather than finding that harsh and extreme, it just came off grating and annoying, sort of headache inducing. I do not so much mind headache inducing music, as long as the music pays off and is awesome in it’s extremity, that is not the case here. This more often then not comes off like a cluttered mess and displays a muddled musical direction or possibly lack of direction I suppose. The more atmospheric moments (and some of the vocal work), where they slow down the din of silver wear cascading down a set of stairs, is actually decently done and enjoyable, yet it is a little hard to enjoy at the same time, because you know the mess is going to start up again soon. Yes, maybe I just do not see or understand what they are going for, but to me this is trying to do a bunch of things at once, not doing them that well, suffocating the musical whole and not letting the individual parts much room to breathe, rendering them nearly useless. I would pass on this, but give their MySpace a listen and see if you agree with me before writing them off.
(Dale Roy)



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