Sunday, January 28, 2024

Full Length Review: Die Entweihung "Hypnotic Dreams (Remastered Reissue 2023)" (Inverted Chalice Productions, Bál Records) by Dave Wolff

Project: Die Entweihung
Location: Haifa
Country: Israel
Genre: Blackened heavy metal
Format: Digital album, CD, cassette
Label: Inverted Chalice Productions (USA) (CD release, limited to 300 copies), Bál Records (Hungary) (cassette release, limited to 100 copies)
Release date: November 18, 2022
I noted in my review of "Strict Regime Country" last July that Denis Tereshenko has always composed music for Die Entweihung eclectically. From raw black metal with horror soundtrack overtones to experimental black/doom metal with elements of classic metal and progressive rock, Denis Tereshenko made slow but noticeable efforts to redefine his project and add more eccentricity to each of his recordings, resulting in a balance between accessibility and peculiarity.
Moving from raw to prog to crossing over several genres with an anarcho punk attitude on "Strict Regime Country", he follows up by revisiting the meticulous process by which he grew as a musician and songwriter. By adding glossiness to its coarse musicianship, the remastering of "Hypnotic Dreams" refines the original’s obscene crass quality. It may have appeared that the variations in temperament and atmosphere were disjointed, but with this version it becomes more apparent that the variations were intentionally disjointed in order to convey the state of mind Tereshenko intended to impart.
The remastered "Hypnotic Dreams" maintains that balance between accessibility and peculiarity. Refined professionalism combined with an uncultivated, primitive sound reminiscent of early 90s black metal. The orchestration and arrangement of the different parts, as well as the rawness and atmosphere counterpointing each other, give the latter influence new perspectives without rehashing them or making them sound stale. In some ways, it’s similar to albums recorded by Abruptum in the 1990s; hour-long ambient compositions with inconstant vibrations and violent overtones conveying unpredictability.
For one example, the electronic ambient sounds of "Hypnotic Dream", set the mood for Tereshenko's depiction of a search through the labyrinth of his soul. For something lost or yet to be discovered? While the answer is uncertain, the search grows colder and darker as the vocals hint the speaker's soul is already dead. The song transitions from raw and unforgiving to cold and atmospheric to raw and hypnotically repetitive while the ending suggests he is actually inside another's perception of his soul.
The song "Closer To..." and the instrumental "...The Madness" may portray pessimistic disillusionment, while "In Astral Sleep" might give the impression that the album depicts an unhopeful journey toward the only reward left for someone who lived a bleak, fatalistic life (death). By outward appearances, this would appear true. Under the surface, however, it can be viewed as an aphotic journey of self-discovery to confront negative conditions like self-delusion, mistakes, regrets, and uncertainty about one's own identity. This can be considered a darker interpretation of Trent Reznor's work for Nine Inch Nails.
Perhaps it is because of this that the polished bite, constant mood changes, and underlying flares of life are so poignant here. It's said that if you don't acknowledge something negative, you can’t resolve it. A key album in this project’s evolution, it is one of the first that presents the songs as a narrative, where the arrangements are equally important to the lyrics. Again, I’d recommend listening to as much of this project's entire discography as possible in order to understand the entire picture. –Dave Wolff

Denis Tereschenko: Vocals, all instruments

Track list:
1. Hypnotic Dream
2. Closer To...
3. ...The Madness
4. In Astral Sleep

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