THE DEMO CORNER
Tempestuous and battering, Agrypnie’s Asche EP doesn’t mince emotions as it thunders out of the musical gate and attacks with reckless impunity. After ‘10’s 16 the band’s brand of blackened metal seems to be a fine formula to follow, seeing as that album was two steps under majestic.
As was prevalent on the aforementioned 2010 release, the non-conditional elements to this type of black metal rest solely in the true slower and caustic atmosphere that never relies on speed or vocal screeching to find the essential core of what makes certain metal music black. While I wouldn’t go as far as to call this shoegaze there are definitive pieces of post-black found herein; Agrypnie’s sound has always been steeped in this so it’s nothing I’m not used to. The melodic and aura-encapsulating feel of the music is enough to drive me back for more and upon my third listen to this EP it gets more encompassing and rife with particulars I might have otherwise missed the first couple of times. “Erwachen” has one of the most mind-tapping musical passages in it that I’ve heard from this so-called ‘post’ medium; it really takes on a life of its own and sort of travels slowly into your brain and simmers there, saying nothing of the shock to the system when the vocals kick in and create a severely cooling feel in the room while this music keeps the mood just somber enough. If you’re not familiar with Agrypnie, I can tell you the vocals are more of a controlled singing that borders ever slightly on a barked commanding than the overused screaming and wailing over piercing chords and tremolo riffs.
From this blatantly disturbing brand of ‘post-black’ is the true definition of the term, should we be so inclined to debase the music with such trivial labels. If we must, then this is precisely what the term calls for within the sphere of brooding and beleaguered musical ‘scapes that simply carry the listener to places unrecognizable and, for the most part, undefined with words. Agrypnie is the music for which you find no real discernible definition for your feelings; the music sort of taps resources and shadows within that cause you great displeasure or highlighted euphoria. In many ways it could be like a drug, both fascinating and surreal. “1.10#06+0.35” is something to behold with its brilliant foray into despair and forlornness that can’t be diluted or denied, and it should really be heard to be truly enjoyed for what it is.
Aside from the moodier parts to the EP there is some strong metal music with damaging guitars and some really fine drumming throughout. The angry “Augenblick” rattles around the room and shows what the atmospheric metal realm should be coveting instead of these wanton hipster bands that pop up from nowhere and want equal time they don’t deserve. By the time “Kosmos (Omega) slithers into the psyche the wonderful damage has been done and it becomes simmer-down time with such a tremendously encapsulating track. The eerie, yet soothing essence of this track was the absolute perfect end to a fine EP.
This band is one of the better-kept secrets and hopefully the buzz will grow with such great German music as this. I think this is one of better aspects of the ridiculous genre-labeling out there because, for once, it’s a spot-on example.
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5. Kosmos [Omega]
6. Augenblick (Demo)
Total playing time: 47:31
Release Date: November 11, 2011
Label: Supreme Chaos Records
Agrypnie - Asche EP
February 29, 2012