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Strynn - Alienation Award winner

by Daniel Fox at 03 May 2015, 10:14 PM

Following a seeming tradition of a tradition, STRYNN are a band from none other than France, one of the (many?) French bands carrying the Black Metal torch; I for one think of a sea of Atmospheric Black Metal bands when I think of France's Metal scene. STRYNN appear to adhere more to the old Blackened doctrines of the early 90's; early BURZUM, early MAYHEM, early this, early that. "Alienation" is the band's second full-length to date, following 2013's "Decadence".

What we are met with is an force of darkly intrigue; it's by no means a mass of buzz, fuzz and helicopter-drumming. Certainly, the album is produced and mixed with a raw output in mind, but there is a strange clarity about the mix, particularly in the bass. Most obviously in "Sadistic", the bass is surprisingly audible, as opposed to being lost in the mindless fuzzy tremolo typical of most 'early days' Black Metal acts. Arzhkrug appears to lay down a thumpy low end, but completely widens the spectrum for the album's dynamic range by playing notes that counterbalance that of the guitars, in eerie, suspended, darkly harmonies. The same track also highlights the impeccable styling of the vocals in this album; Anadrark's shrieks and screams remind me a hell-of-a-lot of the Pest-era of Gorgoroth (and my favourite album of said band, "Pentagram").

The evil vitriol that spews forth from his throat reaches a kind of peak in "Scourge"; a faster, more riff-oriented piece with many memorable sections (and more catchy bass work). The man possesses incredible vocal stamina, screaming for almost inhuman lengths of time. With experimental tracks such as the lengthy (6 minutes!) "Obliteration" and the droning, multilayered dirge of "Desolation" to tide me over for the album's considerable length so far, I didn't at all become bored or detached to the album; an after-effect that happens to plague many a Black Metal band who haven't yet perfected their craft.

I suppose that is what I am trying to say. STRYNN have indeed perfected their craft, or at least, have made leaps and bounds getting there; I would hate for a band to have reached their peak by their second album. However, closing track "Jailed" is hard to beat, a mini-album all on its own. Running at 15 minutes, it seemingly comprises of a range of shorter Black Metal songs, or rather, movements, reaching Doom-like proportions in heaviness and tempos.. At least up until 8 minutes, where the remaining 7 minutes of the song is strangled, garbled guitar reverb from amplifiers having the shit sucked out of them. 7 minutes of it; a jarring 7 minutes if I have ever heard as such.

Beginning, thriving and certainly ending in a way I wasn't expecting, STRYNN have certainly created a commendable second album, and should find themselves rising above a sea of underground and boring monotony.

4 Star Rating

1. Anthropophobia
2. Sadistic
3. Pyroclastic
4. Obliteration
5. Desolation
6. Scourge
7. Plague
8. Perdition
9. Reminiscence
10. Anamnesis
11. Jailed
Anadrark - Guitar, Vocal
Dwimorberg - Guitar, Vocal
Arzhkrug - Bass
Obscurisis - Drums
Record Label: Mortis Humanae


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