Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Succorbenoth - Vibrant in Darkness

SUCCORBENOTH - Vibrant in Darkness (SCHATTENKULT Produktionen CD 2018)
In 2017 I had a chance to listen to Succorbenoth's debut album "The Spiral into Uncertainty" and it impressed me for being unconventional, quite progressive, yet truly vicious and ferocious black metal. I didn't even realize than in the meantime Succorbenoth released their second album "This Flesh Forgotten" and more recently Schattenkult Produktionen unleashed full length number three, which is titled "Vibrant in Darkness". When this CD arrived I almost immediately started to listen to it. I was really curious what this American duo prepared this time. 
And well... I think I could repeat quite a lot of what I wrote about "The Spiral...". Succorbenoth plays rather modern sort of black metal, their music has that avantgarde'ish feel, with rather complex song structures, riffs, which are insanely varied – from straight forward black metal to more melodic stuff, with even a bit more bizarre sounding fragments. But more importantly, the music is very intense and aggressive, it often is incredibly fast, but gets slower just at the right time, when it needs a bit of breath and more diversity. And that's actually a strong aspect of Succorbenoth music – that despite that bestiality and speed of the music, it can still sound so atmospheric and unconventional. 
One thing is certain – a lot is going on in this music and it's again an interesting journey through its creators' mad, possessed world. You may get a feeling like it's a bit hard to get through this music a little, some of these songs may even start to sound a bit too alike to each other. But once you start to catch all these details, great arrangements, riffs, then it will start to make more sense to you. I think that the music is not so easy to get into, it can definitely push away some listeners... But with songs like "In the Vast Nothingness of Space", this album has a great quality, which personally I'm totally into. In the mentioned song the atmosphere is almost eerie, and with these harmonies, aggression and screams of Troll the result is just awesome. "Path of Grief" also stands out with its dissonant, mind-piercing music. Unfortunately, I have problems to compare Succorbenoth music to some other bands. Maybe Amestigon and Abigor, maybe some US black metal like Lurker of Chalice or Leviathan... but it all is just maybe. Which is all good, because it proves that Succorbenoth plays original and uncommon style of black metal. And such are always worth of recommendation. 
Here I need to write also something about the vocals. Well, generally they have changed a little since "The Spiral of Uncertainty". There aren't any deep growls or clean singing parts anymore. It's a shame that they resigned from this awesome clean voice especially. Vocals are focused on very brutal, ferocious scream, which I'm afraid is a bit too one dimensional and not always sounds that good, in my opinion. Not a major complain from me, but just something I wish was a bit different. Also, when reviewing "The Spiral into Uncertainty" I noticed that the album is too long. I'm quite pleased then that "Vibrant in Darkness" is 20 minutes shorter. It's still a lot of music, because the album is closed in 55 minutes. But it's easier to go through the entire album at once, for me at least. 
Standout tracks: "In the Vast Nothingness of Space", "Path of Grief" 
Verdict: 70/100 

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