Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Beast of the Apocalypse- Henosis(2011)

The Beast of the Apocalypse- Henosis

While the bands poorly chosen moniker might lead to a few raised eyebrows, the quality of the work will outshine the oddity. TBotA's newest release, Henosis, is one of this years finest experiments in the occult. Reeking of evil and the stench of Brimstone, the ritualistic ramblings of Henosis are immediately fascinating and all consuming, while repeated listens bring more depth and intensity to the forefront. There is a certain comfort in the bands bestial barrage, but at the same time Henosis is unafraid to challenge listeners with a thick, static laden production and blasphemous noises straight from Hell.

On the surface, TBotA is straight forward enough to be instantly accessible: a healthy does of early Beherit and Archgoat is apparent from the first riff, and provides the demonic lubricant for Henosis to really get its engine moving. Once sucked into the blackness however, Henosis is filled with nice surprises: snippets of melody, crushing rhythms, effective use of symphonic elements and hypnotic use of riff repetition create a level of immersion unmatched by most albums released this year. Clearly influenced by Mories various projects, particularly in the manic vocal attack, as well as acts like Mitochondrion and Ulcerate, TBotA channel their various influences in such a way as too be greater than the sum of its parts.

The level of accessible complexity in this album is what makes it stand out from a lot of bands in this newly crowded genre of Occult Death and Black Metal: unlike other bands in this vein, TBotA have the songwriting chops to draw you in instantly and keep you interested, as opposed to merely challenging the listener every step of the way and depending on their endurance to get something from the album. A truly great feat for a relatively young and unknown band.

Part of the reason this band may be so unknown is that in a crowded genre, they fail to stand out in certain areas: from the bands awkward name, to their cover art which seems lifted from various other bands(Henosis has cover art that looks almost exactly like the cover art for Parasignosis, Swarth, and the Aethyrvorous demo), to their Deathspell Omega/Mitochondrion-esque song titles, TBotA have done a terrible job selling themselves to fans who would gladly eat this stuff up if they knew about it.

Truth be told, nothing about Henosis is inherently original: all of its disparate elements have been done and done very well by countless bands. What makes Henosis so damn good it that the band have found a way to present all of these well worn aspects in interesting new ways. TBotA are not inventors: Henosis is not the work of men looking to bring forth something we did not know we wanted. Henosis is the product of a master-craftsmen, using the ancient techniques handed down by those in the past to create something viable and quality.

Rating: 9/10

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, the song titles are a bit much, but the music is great.