Monday, September 19, 2011

Aosoth: III (2011)


Norwegian black metal is one of two things: stuck in the past, or abandoning its black metal roots entirely. For thriving black metal scenes in 2011, you need to look to the US and France.

Aosoth is a perfect example of why the French black metal scene is on top. They are clearly rooted in black metal's mood and raw, simple approach, but they've let it evolve. III is far heavier than Norwegian fare, and much scarier than anything to come out of the frozen North in several years.

Some nitpickers may say the approach favored by Aosoth (and countrymen Celeste) is too hardcore-influenced, with its dissonant, atmospheric qualities. As far as I'm concerned, they can keep their rehashed-from-1995 generic stuff, because this is the state of black metal in 2011.

The Verdict: It's heavy and raw, with plenty of dissonant atmosphere, and compelling in mood. One of the best of the year. Black metal, welcome to 2011. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

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