Review Summary: Slowly fading from existence
I've been a music freak for as long as I can remember. I've lost count of how many bands, musicians, songs or albums I've listened to throughout my life. It will certainly exceed the number of inhabitants of Lichtenstein. Throughout this journey, every now and then I run into a band that, for one reason or another, thrills me to the point of wanting to quickly discover their entire discography, as if I suddenly got addicted to them. This addiction can last weeks, years or even a lifetime, depending on how the band ages in me. The Swiss Schammasch are my most recent addiction.
My first contact with the band was only a few days ago, when I heard the first singles 'A Paradigm of Beauty' and 'Rays Like Razors'. I was immediately hooked and willing to explore their previous albums, so that I could be properly contextualized before listening to the band's new release. The good first impression was further strengthened by listening to Schammasch's discography. Evolving from a blackened signature, close to Behemoth (1999-2003 era), to a progressively more eclectic approach, the band has had a quite interesting journey, always showing an artistic ability well above average, without fear of taking risks along the way. Hearts of No Light
is a logical extension of this journey. It's yet another universe created by the band's exploratory aesthetics, which creates new spiritual dimensions with in each step they take. This mystical dimension is the common denominator in Hearts of No Light
, the thread that carries us through the album's nine songs. The music speaks for itself, we just have to close our eyes and let ourselves flow through this emotional loop, that takes us to the confines of the known universe. It's a journey of elegantly shaped contrasts that brush across diverse aesthetics, ranging from black metal to electronic landscapes. It's hard to choose the highlights, because every moment is relevant and vital to the common narrative. The songs flow organically and speak to each other, as in 'Winds That Pierce the Silence', which welcomes us to Hearts of No Light
, while introducing 'Ego Sum Omega', one of the album's most vibrant songs, along with 'Qadmon‘s Heir' and 'Katabasis'. These songs intertwine extreme blackened textures with gothic signatures, always under an esoteric approach. The gothic and theatrical side of 'I Burn Within You', and 'Rays Like Razors'' ritualistic attitude, are other good examples of the album's fluid dynamics. At no point do we feel stagnation along the way. 'A Paradigm of Beauty', with its Rotting Christ meets Idle Hands approach, injects a dose of sobriety, adding a complementary touch to the overall aesthetic. But it's only at the end that we realize our inevitable destiny. 'Innermost, Lowermost Abyss' takes us into a hypnotic state of consciousness, where, in a fetal position, we slowly allow ourselves to be carried into the center of its black hole. Slowly fading from existence, out-of-body, without consciousness, without hope.
Hearts of No Light
is an introspective journey through our spirituality. It's the sum of several aesthetics orbiting the black hole of our soul, of our existence. It's that creature that lurks and whispers in our ears "there is no hope". It's the mirror of what we wouldn't want to see or hear, and yes, it's a great album.