Location: West Flanders
Genre: Black metal
Full length: Scorn
Label: Immortal Frost Productions
Format: CD, streaming
Release date: August 30, 2019
Here is an album that will skull drag you through hell and back and leave you grinning from the experience. That is the best way to describe the overall feeling created by the sounds laid down by Unmensch on the 2019 debut release album Scorn.
'Let the World Drown' approaches with a slow brooding introduction of a sullen drum beats, moody and saddened synth with hissing and faded vocals creating an ambiance of doom. It's not before too long the song is amplified by horrendously fast blasts, stunning and ominous tremolo-picked guitar riffs and vocals, which carry spite and disdain. What a grand, rapid and intense start to the brilliantly dark journey that is, Scorn.
'Dispensable Souls' I'm sure has been designed to descend the listener down another level in the netherworld and hurling us right into the belly of the beast, with low tone guitar riffs assisting a completely smothering composition void of light. It is filthy, mean and unforgiving. ZR, the creator of this black metal solo project executes his vocals in such a course manner it penetrated my ears to the core of my soul. The tempo mash-up within this song was most excellent, moving out of the fastness and chaos and into a more melancholic and depressive flow, before coming back to the heavy onslaught of punk and rock beats, which seems to force a huge intensity across the sound, seeing this track to its completion. Did I mention those riffs? HELL, ON EARTH.
Do not expect any rest within this album, because you are no sooner trying to recover from the previous track when you are immediately peppered with more hectic sounds of all things sinister as showcased in the third track 'Conquered By Sin'. ZR takes his vocals to low guttural here and it was an interesting break from the higher and mid tone shrieks, even if only momentarily. The sound of eerie hymns assisted a haunting ambiance without removing any of the temper and attitude. Unmensch uses the tempo changes and interesting segues well, therefore offering wonder by leaving you guessing as to which way the structure will unfold.
'Storm Breaks Loose' is chilling and harsh with very addictive and emotive dim riffs. The elements of old school black metal beats are heavy, fast and incredibly enthusiastic. The soundscapes of synth were stunning amidst the simple yet effective guitar picking interludes, which added a calming touch before a tsunami of all things brutal floods your sensory system hard. This is the surprise package of the album. It starts meek and intensifies as it progresses to a grueling and indulgent atmosphere through to its strong end.
Ah 'The Path’! It is an epic experience enduring just shy of 10 minutes and as you can probably guess – The Path is THE large journey of Scorn. A long drawn out and the intriguing intro is an inviting start to see this song reach its glory. With distant synth and ZR's voice in suffering and slowly whispering words across the distorted guitar work, it is highly moving and ominous. The DSBM sound is heavy here, with slow apathetic beats and devastatingly moving shimmering riffs that came from out of nowhere and pulled violently on the heartstrings. This contrasted track is a standout and was a good surprise amongst the speed and weight of this album. The Path is dissonant, isolated and sprinkled perfectly with callousness. As you would expect during a 9 plus minute song, we are given several directional changes with tempo fastening before reversing to somber tones, and returning to a crescendo of musicianship leaning on persisting and inexorable. What a persevering and truly stunning misanthropic masterpiece.
'Wolf'. Fueled with stunning and poignant black metal sounds, heavy bass, and stirring synth, each element was carefully and strategically placed perfectly to amplify the quality and tone of its entirety. Wolf showcases some heavier prominent guitar hooks midway through and was a consistently deep and deadly experience. 'The Abyss' is resentful and full of malice. A lot of power and emotion has been piled into this track and you feel this with every element. The Abyss feels oppressive, heavy and highlights some wicked first wave guitar work.
To finalize this incredible album is '11:00', spanning for 3 minutes and 32 seconds. The atmosphere is desolate and despairing, yet carries peace. Sounds of distant crows calling, restless horses and a grave excavation by way of the shovel can be heard. The utter barren vibe within this uneasy instrumental finale was the perfect conclusion to the 7-track assault before it.
Scorn is a heartless, powerful and domineering black metal album and can be likened to entering a vast and cold unworldly cave negated of any light, and once you enter, you are struck by pure disorientation, anxiety and fear.
Given that this is the debut album for this Belgian Black Metal artist, ZR has come out all guns blazing! The bar is set high and like a fine wine, this album will age well within your collection of great black metal. -Kelly Tee
ZR: Vocals, all instruments
1. Let the World Drown
2. Dispensable Souls
3. Conquered by Sin
4. Storm breaks loose
5. The Path
7. The Abyss