The Australia-based post-black metal project Mesarthim have presented a staggeringly soaring work of deeply moving beauty via their new album The Degenerate Era, which is available now.
The foundation of the new album features some familiarly extended, powerful post-black metal melodies, which are performed with the raging intensity of an avalanche, which, strikingly, never obscures the emotionally upheaved power at the core of the creation. Another key element helps drive home the captivating intensity — there are wisps of heavy (but not frigid) synths that float through the mix as the crushing waves of metallic melody settle in with the certainty of a furiously raging snowstorm.
On track one — which is the longest song on the album and clocks in at almost 15 minutes — Mesarthim present flourishes atop the post-black metal foundation ranging from a foray into more directly raging intensity to heavy bursts of solo-worthy heavy metal riffing that settle in amidst the song’s overall vibe of heavy waves approaching a windswept shore. There and elsewhere on the album, the vocals are piercing shrieks cutting through the haze of the psychedelically swirling musical haze, which simultaneously helps drive in the metal-oriented grounding of the record and gives the whole listening experience a grippingly visceral quality.
Track two, which is the record’s title track, seems a bit more straightforwardly constructed, at least at first pass. The trodding riffs progress into cacophonous, occasionally physically devastating crescendos, which include plenty of space for more of those heavy synths and solo-worthy heavy metal guitar riffs, notably enough. Track four presents some truly heavy segments, while the songs on either side — including track three and the rather epic closer — lean more towards synth-driven restraint.
The metallic edge of this album definitely gets a chance to shine, but there’s a poignantly wistful feeling amidst the haze, which is delivered via the synths and similar flourishes and by the inescapably propulsive nature of the foundational melodies themselves. The songs feel like they’re trodding through a snowstorm while peering at the heavens, and as the effect of the album settles in as songs pass by, there is a sincere sense of a growing brightness in those metaphorical heavens, to take a cue from the cover art, which seems quite fitting.
Listen to The Degenerate Era by Mesarthim below!