Review Summary: This just in: a black metal album that will make you want to dance all night long! If only that was a joke....
Let's all be honest with ourselves for a minute. A lot of us who love metal realize right off the bat that a lot of it is silly. Grown men dressing up in full on costumes, paint, leather and all of that good stuff. Some bands take themselves too seriously, but a lot of these guys just like to get ***ed up and jam. Then there's some bands where you just can't tell, and this is one of those bands. All we can do is hope and pray that the people behind this monstrosity aren't being 100% serious. Mesarthim is an atmospheric black metal band from Australia that incorporates a lot of electronic type music into their sound. Some of you may think that sounds interesting, well I'm here to tell you that it's really, really not.
Obviously being an "atmospheric" black metal band you could guess that this album focuses on the "atmosphere." Right there is where the problem lies with Isolate
. Their idea of building an atmosphere is throwing the worst possible sounding synths right in your face for a little over 40 straight minutes, which is a normal time for this type of album. Right off the bat you will notice that these guys really fall flat on their faces with the way they attacked this album. The synths are completely overbearing and this is coming from someone who loves synths in his black metal. The only possible way I can describe the attempts at adding electronics to this is that it sounds like half attempting to make a black metal album and half attempting to make an album that you would want to dance to in a ***ty night club. No, I'm not joking. It's as if these guys wanted to make an album full of house music and tried to make it grim at the same time. That doesn't sound appealing? Well, it's not. Don't think it makes sense? Yeah, it doesn't.
The lack of riffs here is a problem just because the atmosphere that is trying to be built is, for lack of a better word, insufferable. If there was any type of success of building an engaging atmosphere, the lack of good riffs wouldn't be a problem. Normally I'm not the type of person to frown upon an album for being cheesy, but Isolate
takes the meaning of that word to a whole new level. The synths and electronic bits do not mix in or sound right next to the black metal parts in any way and it ultimately makes for a terrible experience where you'll find yourself wanting to shut this off within the first 10 minutes.
A band such as Summoning, who also incorporates heavy use of synths into their brand of black metal (and actually does it well), have to be laughing at the guys of Mesarthim. If they made a synth heavy electronic album, it might not be as bad as this is. The fact is, I understand what these guys were going for here, but they just don't execute it at all. It's weird to think that a black metal album could be associated with music that wouldn't sound out of place at a club in Jersey or something of the sort, but that's really all this is. Not sure how the rest of you feel/will feel about this, all I know is this will be my last experience with Mesarthim.