Thursday, June 5, 2008


Moribund Cult

Absolutely vile black metal vomited out by this Swedish duo, Avsky (that's "disgust" to you, bub) carelessly and spontaneously toss out lo-fi gem after lo-fi gem. Blast beats are largely forsaken for mid-paced grinding and writhing beats, guitar and bass buzz like thick bundles of sharp thorns, and TO's vocals are muffled gasps and howls that are almost Burzum-esque in their desperation and raw viscera. There's plenty of room for headbanging here - songs swagger elastically like the chugging, deliriously jackbooted strut of "Malignant," while TO flays seemingly flays himself alive on vocals, sounding more like cloth tearing or a burn ward in a hospital. Avsky operate on a level of sonic self-abuse similar to GG Allin or Yamatsuka Eye and is fucking great and gives you those "oh shit" moments by the handful, like the long scream at the end of "Cleanse the World" or a desperate howl right in the middle of a lyric in "The Filth."

Avsky avoid slavishly giving praise to that fella with the horns and pitchfork, instead they’re purging and spitting years worth of bile and sociopathic ill will towards every aspect of modern socity It’s a much more immediate, white-knuckled evil. The harsh but somehow more inviting grind pacing– owing as much to the vicious end of doom (Sourvein, Beaten Back to Pure) as to the darker end of thrash and early black metal- seals the deal.

Around the time of "False Heavens" things start getting almost dangerously catchy and headbang-eriffic. A great, stone-dense guitar sound that verges on white-noise avant-gardisms, tombstone heavy drum attack, whipping up absolute storms of teeth-grinding noise before coalescing into these great fucking arcs of headbanging ecstacy.This is one of those points where black metal starts transcending its own ugly limitations and becoming something beautiful and chill-inducing (and I'm not talking about an icy wind either). Check out those cymbal crashes on "Fuck Your Values, Fuck Your Beliefs," punctuating a rock-godhead riff that is then superseded by a pained howl and a guitteral incantation.

Not as low-fi as you’d expect from a duo (the music is more effective this way, less cooks, less delegation, less dilution of intention), and as much as I love some primitive recording, this album definitely shines from a decent production. The sound is spare and clean; the drums and serrated guitar are both clear and separated and those vocals reverb all over the fucker. Lots of space and atmoshphere, not so much claustrophobia.

Ones to watch. Most fucking definitely.

- Matthew Moyer

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