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Barshasketh - Ophidian Henosis
 Award winner

Ophidian Henosis

by Charlotte ''Downright Destructive'' Lamontagne at 03 August 2015, 10:32 PM

So we all know how it goes. Generally, Black metal is composed of distortions topped by raucous, impending growls and violent drum poundings. Oh yeah, and distortions, again. Through the decades and with haunting landscapes as inspiration, the second wave was quickly inherited into the European world. Beyond evil and dark, those bands walked through provocative themes and an unforgettable sound. But church burning and satanic rites aside, BARSHASKETH really sank into a melodic aspect, rarely heard in the Black metal community. In appearance, the New Zealand quartet is nothing but another pagan band, but under the ten layers of aggression lies a memorable ode to spirituality, the human mind, and an ever so beautiful occult philosophy.

Lyrically, ''Ophidian Henosis'' holds much concept. Embracing a perspective of rebirth and regrowth, BARSHASKETH explain through evil and hoarse growls the opposing forces present in our world, serving in the music itself a balance of different speed, melodicism and dissonance. If, for the same reason, the tracks come off as hard to discern at first, know that the capacity of understanding comes with the habit. With time, your eardrums do get used to it, but this type of black metal will always take pleasure in staying underground, as a hard listen. You must look deeper into the details and pay attention. Enter the obscure universe in which syncopation and distinct accentuation of particular sections are at the foreground.

Embrace Krigeist's powerful high-range roar, similar to front man Shagrath from the praised DIMMU BORGIR. Notice the raging, shredding guitars. Far from bendy and wailing, this vein of tone really distinguishes itself from the general guitar sound, known in popular genres. Appreciate it, feel the difference. Yes, the overall tone may sound similar from tune to tune – as it is a common issue, often encountered in Black metal – but the brilliant technicality and riff creativity will leave you in awe. At least, the mid-tempo sections create a fresh variation, and with the moving bass and full-on, insane drums, every piece is inspiring and gripping in its own way. Persuasive and expressive, the chaos emanating from the formation's music has such great structures and thoughts to it; you'll feel it becomes a true piece of artistry in itself. The seven tracks, even by their selves, radiate such ambiance and confidence and, truly, all these aspects contribute into creating an overall downright explosive record. 

''Ophidian Henosis'' represents the unification of men and reptiles – or the marriage between Satanism and mankind, if you prefer. As to express such ideas, BARSHASKETH really commit to the concept, whether it being through the cruel lyrics, the dramatic scales or the detailed artwork. Every subtlety reflects the bands thoughts and guides the listener through the journey. When a band can transmit and explain so much, by literally giving up the idea of entitling their songs, then the music and the spirit speaks for itself… But it never only was about the music, and BARSHASKETH greatly demonstrate that. The message, the philosophy, the soul to it is so strongly built, the record will insidiously seduce you into the unholy pits of hell. Dive into the mighty storm and seize the uniqueness, appreciate the masterminds behind it all. The quartet, truly deserve this type of recognition – their efforts, their talent is a force to be reckoned with. Solid, well constructed and more than determined, the nephilim rises. The giants, the creatures, the Cerberus…

5 Star Rating

1. I
2. II
3. III
4. IV
5. V
6. VI
7. VII
Krigeist - Vocals, Guitar

GM - Guitar, Vocals

BH - Drums
BB - Bass
Record Label: Blut & Eisen Productions


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