A cassette release limited to 150 hand numbered copies with a dedication to Ildjarn in the sleeve notes, German avant-garde Black Me(n)talist Ekpyrosis’ latest EP is not at all what I expected. Instead of a linear, one-dimensional pure Black Metal attack, what we have here is eighteen minutes of synthed-out black industrial psychedelia that is every bit as intriguing as it sounds.
Very black metal in terms of the simple and monotonous chord progressions, and very Ildjarn with his use of the one-drum-beat-per-song, this EP is a weirdly immersive one. Nicely produced and very atmospheric, the six short songs (the longest song comes in at just under four-minutes) on this EP are like a bizarre mix of Paysage D’Hiver, the synth works of Burzum and Blodsrit, all churned together into one very slick and weirdly listenable package.
Opener “Forest of Destruction I” sets the tone with its unashamed simplicity, starting us off with a distorted bass riff before the drums and synth kick in. “Death By Darkness” carries on in much the same vein with some tasty chord progressions, while the organ-led “Tower of Life” could have been lifted straight from a cybergoth album. EP highlight “Killing Shadow” is probably the most ‘black metal’ track on the EP, reminding me of something from Sigh’s “Hail Horror Hail”, before leading us into the organ-led ambient interlude “First Star”. Final track “Forest of Destruction II” finishes things off nicely and is probably the most epic track on the album, with some very nice chord progressions and a great bass sound to boot.
Although this EP is on the whole very listenable, I do feel it lacks some depth in certain aspects such as adding more instrumentation and really upping the ante in terms of atmosphere, especially considering the bar was set pretty high with his previous releases. People are either gonna love or hate “Deathtrips” as it is very different from the rest of Ekpyrosis’ (superb) back catalogue but is worth checking out regardless. (DaveW)