Melencolia Estatica Hel

Melencolia EstaticaHel
Udine, Friuli-based Climaxia is the Italian black metal mastermind behind Melencolia Estatica, who delivers droning, dark and, quite simply, melancholy music on traditional terms, yet in an unconventional way. Her latest release, Hel, is a slow, foggy aural voyage with no formal track titles, only Roman numerals. The Jill-of-all-trades controls the instrumentation and production, and it's quite the effort considering the various stylistic elements employed. Labeled the "most ambitious woman in black metal," Climaxia has drawn from Metropolis (the 1927 cinematic marvel by Fritz Lang) to create a concept record reflecting a futuristic dystopia. The album can be experienced in two ways: acknowledging the plot or painting a mental interpretation of a black & white vortex. Commencing with church bells, à la Belphegor, on "HEL 1," Melencolia Estatica establishes setting with a progressive piece. With intervals of blast beats, echoed chanting and clean vocals, its composition is strong. "HEL V" explores gut-wrenching, guttural vocals and ripping tremolo guitars. Sounding like a muffled and desolate megaphone speech, "HEL VI" is a five-minute pre-closure interlude. In accented lyrics, Climaxia spews words such as of "abomination" and "trauma." Simple, with few notes, it is bizarre and poetic before "HEL IV," the final track, follows at a similar pace, providing a theatrical element with its sultry, evil solo. Hel ends with a horror movie-esque audio clip, a concluding musical statement of Climaxia's very own black metal Metropolis. The concepts and elements utilized by Melencholia Estatica aren't new or innovative, but you have to hand it to Climaxia for doing all the brainwork and wearing many dark hats. (Temple of Torturous)