Deadspace are a band I profess to know next to nothing about, having never heard them until I saw them support Satyricon in Brisbane last year and being completely taken in by their musical approach and apparent mystique.
I have since dived headlong into the West Australian black metal band snapping up what I could of their recorded output, of which there are three albums and a handful of EPs before this one.
Building up the tension, ‘Divinity’ opens as a short cinematic piece that lulls the listener into a false sense of the album’s direction. This sense of unease is quickly qualified as ‘Rapture’ explodes forth in all kinds of black metal destruction, resting lightly in the middle to allow the depressive element of the music to take hold before pushing back into a crescendo.
‘Dirge’ is quick to follow with its military drumming that slows the tempo down, continuing descent into complete darkness. The track marches forth towards a melancholy piano led outro that leads into the more straight up ‘Indoctrination’ that drives along at pace like a more typical black metal song, only with powerful production.
‘Graveflower’ brings back some tranquility to the depressive black that this album is mired in. Piano floats quietly to help you find a little comfort, before ‘The Malevolence I’ve Born Unto Others’ crushes with the most almighty weight. The track sums up everything the band and in particular vocalist and band visionary Chris Gebauer’s album concept encompasses, an outward look toward the darkness of humanity and what humanity is capable of doing to each other. A part two, if you will, to their first EP The Promise Of Oblivion that looked inwards on the darkness of the human psyche.
As the album moves on ‘Consigned To Oblivion’ closes the circle with the first EP as Deadspace moves back closer to the depressing musical weight of the first releases, dropping the musical baggage of the last album for a leaner, darker approach. ‘Hypnogogia’ continues the descent with a quiet spoken word into before unleashing ‘O Sancta Simplicitus’ with pained howls call from the depths of darkness.
Typically I would not be a fan of something described to me as Depressive Black Metal, but here there is something different. The music and vision created here stretches beyond the confines created by any genre tag. This is still new music to this listener, and it is the first new music that has elicited some genuine excitement in my ears for sometime. With this release I have found another to add to the rarefied personal air of a classic that hits all the right spots for me. Musical ups meet crushing lows in an almost perfect fashion, driving the album’s dark concept.
- The Malevolence I’ve Born Unto Others
- Consigned To Oblivion
- O Sancta Simplictus