Expressionless in appearance or full identity, AÎN emerge from these mysterious shadows to bring occult and hidden wisdom to the foreground of their work, and French Post-Black metal – in my opinion, a captivating subgenre. While not necessarily ‘revolutionary’, AÎN do a favour to said subgenre by contributing to and deepening it. With the self-stated purpose of journeying trough the broader field of esoterism and spirituality, last year they presented their first full-length album, “Stance I”.
Guided by distorted guitars, heavy drum sound and ritualistic, sometimes rather eerie vocals, Stance I takes you into a deep, concealed world of occult atmosphere. One of those, I like to call them, records with a story, a purpose that transcend being music itself but serves to evoke something spiritual within the listener. Ceremonial, yet in the experience highly individual.
Consisting of nine songs with no other expression in the title other than roman numerals, musically it brilliantly combines the extremes found within all, painting them trough magnificent arid passages or those dark and crammed with negative emotion. Just what you’re looking for in this type of record: an occult expression of numb, violent hatred found trough an exploration within the self. Stance’s atmospheric aspect which is, really, beautiful is also what makes this record stand out of typical Black Metal.
It’s unearthly: sometimes bizarre, sometimes chantingly repetitive, then strikingly violent, energetic, frightening and mysterious, strangely comforting, sometimes slow, sometimes fast – connecting various expressions to the same general emotion.
I figure it’d work as a casual listen, but if you want to experience something more profound and philosophical, make this record your pick of the day. (Lana)