Aosoth IV Arrow in Heart

Aosoth IV Arrow in Heart
8
Plying a bitter and suffocating brand of black metal that carefully eschews genre conventions without compromising its aesthetic, Aosoth's follow-up to 2010's III will please purists and the oft-maligned "hipster" subsection of the community in equal measure. Favouring sprawling structures that buck their hypnotic repetition by transforming and burning-out into cathartic climaxes at all the right moments, the band's more transcendental qualities are anchored by a strong inclination towards churning bottom-end rather than the conventional buzz-saw wash. A natural progression from its predecessor, Arrow in Heart sports somewhat more defined production and multi-dimensional arrangements, with added subtleties such as sampling and auxiliary percussion thickening the gloom rather than distracting from the atmosphere. Aosoth share the same fascination with lower-register density as Deathspell Omega, while completely avoiding the latter's more technical and indulgent tendencies. Forging a resonant identity without relying upon gimmicks or post-y tomfoolery, Aosoth have put themselves in a position where making a classic next time around is just about the only way to surpass this level of achievement. (Agonia)