Leviathan Massive Conspiracy Against All Life

Over the last several years, Leviathan’s Wrest has established himself as a leader within depressive black metal, making records with rare crossover appeal while retaining the requisite misanthropic aesthetic. Massive Conspiracy Against All Life continues in the vein of The Tenth Sublevel of Suicide — ethereal and ambient yet soaked in viscera and self-destructive intent. The most obvious development in Leviathan’s sound is the increased focus, as well as greatly improved production. While many may scoff at this record’s relative polish, Wrest’s sense of texture and space is unmatched in the genre, and the expected grit is still present but in a more measured sense. Songwriting-wise, this effort stands as his most memorable yet, with many standout riffs and an increased emphasis on keeping things tight and well ironed, as opposed to the psychosis of Tentacles of Whorror. While all this may give the impression that Leviathan have streamlined their sound, rest assured these changes are minimal in the scheme of things — this is still some unsettling music. Ranging from intriguing to outright spine tingling, the tracks presented here show a genre-defining musician at the height of his talents. (Moribund)