Title: The Telluric Ashes of the Ö Vrth Immemorial Gods
Label: I, Voidhanger Records
Release Date: 24 May 2019
Format reviewed: FLAC
One of the most satisfying things for any music fan is to follow a band (or an artist) from their inception and trace their evolution from album to album, noticing subtle details that hinted what was to come. If you ever visited a classical art museum, chances are you saw some massive paintings, Veronese’s The Feast of Cana being a famous example. To analyse such a painting you have to come closer and look with the utmost attention at hidden features, and then you step back and take it all in. I try to approach discographies in the same way. After I get to explore every album, I piece everything together to get a wider view of said’s group music. In some cases this might give some bland results, but this is not the case with ESOCTRILIHUM.
ESOCTRILIHUM is an enigmatic one man outfit from France, signed to the no. 1 purveyors of obscure arts, I, Voidhanger Records. No more than two years since the release of their debut, and Esotrilihum already is at the fourth full-length, and in my opinion, Asthâghul’s most ambitious work to date. 11 songs that form an unexpected journey not shorter than 75 minutes, an impressive amount of play time for this type of music. As I mentioned a tad earlier, it’s interesting to try to dissect ESOCTRILIHUM’s discography, because the sound actually evolves from one record to the other. The debut had a more atmospheric black metal aesthetic to it, albeit it still bared the seeds of something unsettling that were yet to sprout, but with the sophomore effort those seeds opened and Asthâghul shifted gears towards an asphyxiating blackened death approach. This continued on the next album, however, with a few psychedelic elements to it. Well, “The Telluric Ashes of the Ö Vrth Immemorial Gods” gathered all the good elements of the past records and combined them to deliver this monstrous package. It has a thick atmosphere, it’s still ridiculously layered and suffocating and it’s simply brimming with dark, twisted psychedelia.
“The Telluric Ashes of the Ö Vrth Immemorial Gods” is, without a doubt, the apex of ESOCTRILIHUM current discography. Listening to this record is exactly like experiencing dark, impossible to explain visions. Ancient beings that lived aeons and seen countless worlds rise and then crumble to dust unfold their secrets before you, but the mind of a mere mortal cannot comprehend such knowledge, so madness consumes you as you are thrown into a vertigo inducing maze, with walls that look like they are grazing the sky, filled with creatures that defy logic and common sense. Every turn you take makes you more and more nauseous, but also more desperate to find an exit. You start screaming on top of your lungs and running frantically, giving up on reason entirely. Never in your life did death look sweeter than in these moments, however, you know you won’t be granted this gift soon. Time loses all meaning and seconds change to millennia and centuries to minutes. But in the end, you see the door, releasing you from this psychedelic hell. You pass through it without a moments notice, but you fall to your knees, as the Immemorial Gods appear before you. The mere sight of them makes you claw your eyes out and then collapse lifeless, only to wake up and repeat this hell over and over and over again. There is no rest, no salvation.
There is so much going on in this album. You can pick any song off of it and you still have so much to explore. Vocals coming at you from multiple directions, sudden shifts in tempo, discordant violins soaring at times. Through all this, ESOCTRILIHUM manages to make the album diverse enough so it won’t become a drag because of the gargantuan play time. I revisited it again and again and I still can’t get enough of it, something that doesn’t happen all that often with this kind of albums. Also, I feel the need to address the fact that the cover is simply gorgeous and it fits the tone perfectly. It depicts a gargantuan being, unfazed by anything that goes on around him, ready to lay waste to all upon all dimensions. If this is not the perfect choice, I don’t know what is.
With “The Telluric Ashes of the Ö Vrth Immemorial Gods”, ESOCTRILIHUM became an essential listen for any fan of extreme and dark music. For some, the length might seem a bit of a downer, but trust me, this album has a dimension of its own, in which time functions completely different. Now I’m only left wondering what awaits us next and to be honest, I can’t even imagine, but I know that I’m ready. 10/10 Metal Gentleman
10/10 Immortal classic
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