Review Summary: The name Vladimir Cochet probably means nothing to most people reading this, even the most seasoned metal fans. It’s a shame, really, that such an artist could go almost entirely unknown, even after making some of the most forward thinking classical-inf
The capacity of human intelligence seems to limit the capabilities to expand upon any possible creative aptitudes. Indeed, if one cannot even notice the facets that the ingenuities around him are comprised of, how can he be expected to fashion a beast of his own? This inveterate sense of constraint is a great blow to the veracity of mankind’s abilities. It restrains us and holds our minds to the ground below, averting any possibility of rising above ourselves to something greater; something not fathomed by the conventional mind. This concept of seeking to go beyond one’s self, known as “transcendence”, is essentially a gateway to unlocking pieces of ourselves that can lead to some of the most elaborate and significant creations of our world. For many, this quest to transcend and form creations that were once considered unthinkable and overwhelming consumes life. Certainly it is rare to find such people, but when they are found, creative barriers are destroyed.
I have only come across two albums in my lifetime that embody this ambition in full.
The name Vladimir Cochet probably means nothing to most people reading this, even the most seasoned metal fans. It’s a shame, really, that such an artist could go almost entirely unknown, even after making some of the most forward thinking classical-influenced extreme metal ever. One could easily refer to Cochet as a musical prodigy. He plays all guitar, bass, and keyboards himself, as well as forming the drums and performing all vocals while recording and mastering all of his music in his own home. Still, the intimate atmosphere only seems to enhance his abilities. Vladimir has an insatiable will to create. Mirrorthrone, while only one of his many musical projects, is easily the most accomplished. Many parallels can be drawn between Cochet and Mikael Akerfeldt of Opeth. As is the case with both musicians, the emotions poured within their music and the ability used to execute them are unmatched by any extreme metal musician.
That being said, Carriers of Dust
may come as somewhat of a shock to those who listen to it. A mere four songs adding up to over 45 minutes may be a bit much to digest at once, but it’s albums like these that are the most dynamic. The amount of elements and sounds cascading throughout may be overwhelming at times. However, like much experimental/progressive music, the more effort one puts into the listening and understanding the music, the more one will enjoy it. While it may be common to mix emotions and tinctures in the seemingly limitless bounds of extreme metal, Mirrorthrone may very well be the very first to seamlessly blend epic, melodic, technical, brutal, atmospheric, and experimental features with classical-influenced black/death metal.
It is exceedingly difficult to single out specific instances of exceptional writing on an album such as Carriers of Dust
. At its core is indeed brutal black death metal, as the album plainly displays with the opener A Scream to Express the Hate of a Race
. Vladimir immediately displays his affinity for extreme metal vocal ability, putting forth black metal shrieks and beastly growls that could force Mikael Akerfeldt into submission. While the drums rage on and the guitars are layered with monstrous riffs, definite melody shows through at all times. Mortphose
, the only “average” length song, rides a dark yet serene melodic atmosphere with incredible proficiency for soloing. Meanwhile, Ils Brandiront leurs Idoles
defines epic structures in metal while simultaneously sifting through a tidal wave of creative emotional rivulets. Like a spirit stalking its live prey, De l’Échec et de son Essentialité (Point 1. Marginalité Démystifiée)
emerges with a flowing stream of lead guitar riffs and vocal harmonies.
While Cochet has undoubtedly mastered the basic necessities of avant garde death metal, his powerful classical influences are what make Mirrorthrone an irreplaceable band. Such clean vocal harmonies as those in A Scream to Express the Hate of a Race
and Ils Brandiront leurs Idoles
are powerful beyond words and often induce such epic feelings as to render one, metal enthusiast or not, completely speechless. A Scream to Express the Hate of a Race
and De l’Échec
also feature piano work beyond proficiency. The albums also becomes progressively more emotional and intricate towards the end, which has at times brought on the feeling of being overwhelmed by waves of instrumental and vocal layering. However, an overwhelming of the senses can produce some of the most indescribably pleasurable sensations known to man, and it looks like Mirrorthrone has mastered the art of auditory pleasure.
The progression of metal from its conception way back in the 1960’s into the present day has created quite a contrast. Obviously bands like Mirrorthrone are far removed from the days of shocking satanic lyrics and blues-based guitar riffs. In today’s music, bands such as this can be credited as paving the way for a new field of influence and a new spectrum of musical capabilities that were once unheard of. For those seeking a new and unusual sound in extreme metal, Carriers of Dust
is a magnum opus that could be dreamt of for years to come. With godlike writing skills and instrumental talent beyond measure, it would be fair to say that if Mozart had been alive today, he’d have made something like Carriers of Dust