Review Summary: black metal! at the disco
Along with Violet Cold, the last few years have seen Mesarthim bring the fusion of black metal and trance music to the surface of the black metal underground. Though they are far from the first to create music like this, (see: Cradle of Filth's "Dance Macabre", and Russian black metal act All The Cold) they are certainly the most prominent and easily the best to perform this oddball collision of sounds. Utilizing black metal's inherent malleability - a trait purists will deny until you can see their red cheeks through their ill-applied corpsepaint - tracks like the fittingly titled "Paradox" see Mesarthim layering streams of tremolo riffage atop warm, lush synth backdrops to create something unrelenting in both its heaviness, and its beauty. The rest of the album follows suit, and if there's one complaint that can be levied against the record, it's just that it can be a bit too familiar with itself at times. This however is small price to pay in the face of such catchy and frankly gorgeous music. Neither the black metal nor the trance elements seem to fight for the spotlight, Mesarthim doing an admirable job at balancing the two genres in a way that highlights the best of both worlds, sometimes apart, sometimes simultaneously, but always masterfully. The Degenerate Era
has found a new way to make black metal divisive and controversial, and if you find yourself one its fans on the dancefloor, be careful not to slip on the tears of those who find themselves wishing this didn't exist.