Review Summary: Oh my God
stards at Profound Lore Records went ahead and dropped 2010’s metal album of the year a couple of weeks ago. Sorry you missed the memo; I’m pretty sure most of us did. But it turns out that last year didn’t belong to Immolation
, Deathspell Omega
, or Agalloch
like many of us thought it had, originally – as well as just about any other metal publication. It actually belonged to this blackened death-conglomerate band Mitochondrion, making up for their ridiculous name and under-the-carpet appearance by giving us an album, originally released by the label right before Christmas, that’s about to rock many of your worlds, metalheads. I don’t personally approve of Profound Lore Records going ahead and dropping Parasignosis
late last year, to be honest; but whatever your opinion may be on its true release date, whether that’s December 2010 or January 2011, one thing is for sure: Parasignosis
is powerful enough to reign atop the rest of the metal pile for the coming 2011 year and even, stepping a wee bit ahead of myself here, for many more years to come. Believe it.
is a blackened death metal release unlike any other, being born and crafted from three creative minds from Canada. You see, Mitochondrion have taken their stellar, if unwieldy 2008 debut, Archaeaeon
, and have fine-tuned its aims, raised production values, yet while not diminishing their own original apocalyptic feel and sense of aggression, and have come out with a varied yet fully focused blackened death metal release. Vocalist and guitarist Shawn Hache, also of Canada’s Havoc
, let’s loose a soul-shaking guttural growl, complimented by the shrieks and occasional cleans of fellow guitarist and bassist Nick Yanchuk, throughout the album’s course of authentic atmospheric turns and blackened death metal riffery, the perfect guide for the coming tour of gnosis and occultist lyricism. His tone never becomes stale or monotonous, despite being on the mic for the whole of Parasignosis
’s length in constant timbre, excluding the haunting “Ambient Outro”.
Metalheads will not have heard an atmosphere this thick and authentic since last year’s War Of All Against All
from New Zealand’s Diocletian
. Take note: Parasignosis
sounds really massive and cripping, haunting and evil. Mitochondrion know how to grab you suddenly and never let go, at least if only to futher serve their purposes. Near the climatic ending of the eight-minute “Banishment (Undecaphosphoric)”, the band pauses for an instant, as if almost sucking you close to your speakers, eagerly awaiting the next track, and then Hache let’s loose a monsterous gurgling sound that’s sure to send chills down your spine as the band continue on their blackend-riffing course. Mitochondrion’s ability to grip you on the edge of your seat for Parasignosis
, throughout all its length, shows how Mitochondrion have mastered the craft that they first put to record on Archaeaeon
before it. The ten-minute epic “Tetravirulence (Pestilentiam Intus Vocamus, Voluntatem Absolvimus Part III)” shows how well they can do this even for extended periods of time, passing naturally yet powerfully, never boring the listener as they are sucked into the band’s collosal grasp.
It’s going to be a real treat to see how this monumental Parasignosis
will translate live, to see if the band can carry that same true, authentic blackened death metal atmosphere like they have on record. Make no mistakes, metalheads: this is the album of the year for you, whether that’s if you consider this a 2010 or 2011 release. Mitochondrion’s ability to use their light use of keyboards, powerful, attention-absorbing guitars, and perfect growled, interplaying vocals for Parasignosis
make it the product of three Canadians that are truly worth watching out for. The potential that they showed on 2008’s Archaeaeon
is fully realized. Parasignosis
is a monumental, soul-gripping, and mind-blowing release, setting the bar insurmountably high for the rest of the 2011 metal season to come. Prepare yourselves for this one. You’ll be blown away.