Review Summary: Listening to this record from the beginning to the end is a journey for the mind. Big masterpiece coming out from the Swiss black metal outfit Schammasch.Schammasch
I feel like this album it's really cutting edge in the black metal scene. Listening to this 100 minutes piece of art is a unique experience, as it feels like it progresses into a deeper and deeper state of reflection and consciousness of the human being. I think this record is not for everyone, as sometimes can feel a little too much. But at the same time, the fact that the album changes sound completely 3 times it's something that always keeps the listener interested. Here's a deeper personal analysys of the single parts of the album.
The Process of Dying
The album starts off with one of my favourite intros, similar to what Altar of Plagues did in their last record, I feel it's just perfect to introduce the chaos that is to come in the first part of this record, named The Process of Dying. Both lyrically and musically, this part explains how a man can come to the conclusion that death is a liberation from the chains that keep us blocked in this prison that is life. The intro swiftly transitions into the first real song, Father's breath, which starts really noisy and makes you feel in a constant state of progression towards something else, that is the next song, In Dialogue with Death. After the kinda spoken words intro, the blast beats and the aggressive riffs come in, and this song continues the previously mentioned crescendo, that somewhat explodes during the intense blast beat session that we found around the middle of the song and during the chorus, which feels really glorious, always surrounded by wonderful riffs and aggressive drum patterns. I feel like this song is one of the highlights of the album and the main core of the first cd. The song ends with a kind of ambient sound, with the guitars always in, before transitioning into the next song, Diluculum, an instrumental intermission needed to break the already fast and aggressive sound that this album and especially this first CD has. The song is really atmospheric and the riffs are on point. The next song, Consensus, is just killer. It already starts with some inhuman screams followed by some clean vocals that continue to build the tension that explodes later in the song. Around the middle we can hear a slow down towards a more "calm", church-like atmosphere, kind reminiscent of some Deathspell Omega record like Si monvmentvm reqvires, circvmspice, that alternates with the classic blast beats sessions. The last song of this first part doesn't follow the pattern of the previous, but continues the calm atmosphere found towards the end of Consensus, using it to build tension that climaxes with amazing riffs, the guitar work is always on point. This song is also the ending of the concept that I brought out at the start of this paragraph, the realization that death is just a liberation from the eternal suffering of creation. This concept is explained musically, as the intrumentation towards the end goes fading, and through the spoken words towards the end("I feel the tears flow through my veins but they are not of sadness but of eternal suffering and the pain of creation")
The first song of this second part feels like a rebirth. It's basically a 5 minutes long intro, which can feel a little bit too much for someone, but to me isn't the case, because from this point on the record just gets more and more atmospherical and dark ambient-like. The same thing is valid for Satori, which feels like a build-up as we've seen before in the album. I think this technique is really effective to always keep the record interesting. All of this tension explodes into Metanoia, my favourite track form the entire album along with In Dialogue with death and Above the Stars of God. The entire song is in clean vocals and this contributes to the solemn tone, that is in contrast with the drumming that's relentless during the first part of the song. The riffs are just perfect, and I feel like this, with the next track, is the climax of the entire album until now. Towards the middle, the song goes into a more ambient direction, to make the transition into the next track, that starts with some amazing guitar works, and goes into the vocals that create a perfect atmosphere for the moment that we are in in the album, with the repetition of the phrase "I will raise my throne Above the stars of god" that make up for the most epic moments that I've ever heard in a black metal record. The song smoothly transitions into Conclusion, that's a perfect ending track for the second CD, with its calm atmosphere and acoustic guitars that weren't used during the previous song (though they will be used in the third part, and Schammasch use acoustic guitars in their previous record, Contradiction). Also lyrically, it explains how the man isn't what he thinks or what he does, but its true essence lies in his spirit after death, which is a concept that it's obtained through a process of acceptation and reflection with himself, represented by the journey of the 2 CDs.
Overall, I think this second part it's the best from the standpoint of musical ideas, since the first part it's a classic (but amazing) post black metal records, while the third part it's basically ambient, so there aren't as many musical ideas compared to this one.
The Supernal Clear Light of the Void
As I said, this last CD it's basically Dark ambient. We can easily hear Burzum and Lustmord influences in the first 4 amazing tracks, but the ending on this part is truly amazing, as we hear this big guitar in the background, with spoken words that say that every experience in our lives are just one big thing once we return to be spirit, and as it could be everything, it can be also nothing. ( "Every tear that falls,
Every instant in desire, in solitude, Every spark of hope or illusion, Joy or forgiveness, Peace and content, All passion and love All these things are one, For us to witness Once we return to our birthright And all is none")
And I think this is a perfect conclusion to a great great album.