The promo spiel for Mastery’s VALIS called it the most extreme record the Flenser has ever released. That’s saying something.
This is some intense, weird, dissonant black metal featuring two long compositions, a shorter one, and two interludes. I’ve spent a lot of time listening, trying to unravel its secrets, to no avail. But I’ve enjoyed it along the way. There are some strangely compelling riffs, but remembering them is nearly impossible amid the apparent chaos. Just when you think you’ve got something to latch onto, it’s pulled away by the constant tide of insanity.
This is definitely one for the Deathspell Omega fans out there.
The only sense I feel I can intuit from it is this: I think Mastery took some inspiration from electronic music. I’m not sure why I think that. Maybe it’s the interludes, maybe it’s something else.
And maybe my rating doesn’t do it justice. Perhaps, after 100 listens, everything would fall into place and its brilliance would be revealed. Or maybe it’s just a fascinating exercise in controlled chaos. In either case, you should listen.
The Verdict: 3.5 out of 5 stars