Review Summary: Better than it has any right to be.
In an atmospheric black metal scene plagued by stagnation and inter-group cannibalization, it can be increasingly difficult to discover bands that are simultaneously unique and emotionally investing, making a find like Poland's Entropia a scarce and beautiful thing to behold. Vesper
, their debut full-length, is an entirely enthralling journey that fuses the emotion and ferocity of black metal with the massive soundscapes of post-rock and the crushing riffs and structures of sludge metal. These myriad influences come together in a hugely successful way that Vesper
's seemingly innocuous on-paper credentials may seem to deny it, but once in a blue moon bands like Entropia can create music that is far deeper and more involving than it has any right to be and this album is one of those rare and wonderful instances. For a perfect example of everything that Entropia do right on Vesper
, look no farther than the five-minute album opener 'Dante'. This brilliant track, with its smooth transitions from blast beat-laden black metal sections to immense, drop-tuned riffs, beautifully summarizes the wondrous melding of feeling and intensity that pervades the record's entire fifty minutes. The title track, on the other hand, is a stunning exemplar of the other, far more atmospheric side of Vesper
, containing some of this year's most heartbreakingly gorgeous moments in a post-rock track. The album's other four tracks strike a balance between these two extremes, occasionally delving into generic territory but largely retaining Vesper
's status as one of the best atmospheric black metal efforts of 2013 to date. This final statement is no exaggeration: from the city-leveling riffs of 'Merat' and 'Pascal' to the heart-rending leads of the title track to the exhilarating Wolves in the Throne Rooom
-isms of 'Gauss', Vesper
is an entirely engaging and unmissable effort that will serve as one of the crowning jewels of its genre's output this year.