Viscera/// is an odd and unique band. First time I got in touch with them, was their outstanding album “2: As Zeitgeist Becomes Profusion of the I”. I was totally blown away from this intense mixture of hardcore with post-metal elements. Unfortunately Viscera/// went out of my sight and I missed the following releases. But after a few splits and collaborations there finally is a new album and it brings Viscera/// to another level. I am really impressed!
“3 | Release Yourself Through Desperate Rituals” baffles all description. It is (post-) hardcore, it is black metal, it is (neo-) crust, it has moments of grindcore, shoegaze, post-rock and prog. There are many, partially contrary elements mixed into one single, coherent flow. And this forms this album to one large artistic piece of dark music. All songs interweave with its follow up and form one big picture.
But on the other side, each track stands on its own, using unique ingredients to create its very own, outstanding profile. So it is no wonder that “Titan” is more a collage, combining dense atmosphere with more abstract ideas, buzzing noises and samples alltogether with black metal. And this short but different interlude fits into the overall context as well as the more crust-driven “Martyrdom For The Finest” or the more progressive “In The Cut” that combines post-rock with post-black metal. For Viscera/// all is one. And this creates a brilliant album.
As said, “Titan” is more a soundscape. And “Anxiety Prevails” (which is only a “web edit” on my digital promo copy, running over eight minutes) seams to be more straight forward, playing with some unorthodox black metal riffs to create its dark atmosphere. Of course there are some nice breaks into a punky bass and drum interlude, there is an epic post-black metal part with great shoegaze harmonies. But in contrast to “In the Cut” it is the most direct track on “Release Yourself Through Desperate Rituals”.
And even with most progression in “In The Cut”, it is “Martyrdom For The Finest” which offers the most extreme versatility of styles. In the beginning it offers fast d-beat between Tragedy and early Fall Of Efrafa, creating a really bleak atmosphere. But after another turn, it becomes more slowed down and reminds me of later Fall Of Efrafa. And then the clean vocals set in and takes the song to a totally other level.
This clean vocals continue throughout the whole record. And they are a beautiful addition to the furious and dark music. In one moment they add a bleak and distant vibe taken from post-punk into the songs. And in the other they widen the musical and emotional range of “Release Yourself Through Desperate Rituals”, creating remarkable hooks and moments within the assumed volatile music.
But Viscera/// are not really volatile. They seize the best elements from a wide range of styles and combine them into a harmonious blend. Although it might seem otherwise, every sudden turn, each break is well calculated. But still surprises the listener, makes the songs vital and outstanding. And “Release Yourself Through Desperate Rituals” to a great and unique album in the end.
This is angry and hopeless music for the open-minded! Highly recommended.