Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Review: ASOFY - 'Percezione'


ASOFY is one of those projects that has been simmering away for over a decade, perfecting it's sound, and occasionally surfacing to release something interesting before fading away again. The band's second full length album, 'Perceszione' is a blend of ambient black metal, doom, avant garde and prog elements. It's an album of dichotomies. On one hand its sombre and melodic, and on the other hand its jarring and discordant. But it works.

Weighing in at 48 minutes-long across four tracks, it may at first seem like it will be a dense and thankless listen. But it does have its rewards to reap. The opening song 'Luminosità' is s haunting and melancholic piece that is still light and easy to loose yourself in. The reverberating guitars and repetitive melodies twist and reform themselves hypnotically while the disturbed vocals chant and bark overhead. 'Saturazione' carries on down this stylistic path somewhat in terms of its use of reverb and repetitive melodies. But ventures into heavier, more doom-laden territory to evoke a more claustrophobic and menacing atmosphere. 'Ombra' is more assured in it's black metal leaning. However the ambient side of the band is always present and ready to take over sharply with a more haunting guitar melody. Finally, 'Oscurità' is a spiralling mix of muffled vocals and melancholic guitars that ebbs and flows between a faster black metal pace and a slower dreamlike one.

In terms of production its a rather raw affair but rather technically. The mix throws in a few interesting tricks like keeping the vocals low and having rather sharp cuts between the raw and soft edges. Even the way the songs progress almost feel as though they have their roots in classical music.

The song lengths may put some off. As may the band's emphasis on atmosphere and emotion rather than catchy hooks. But this is an album for those who appreciate opposites in music. The melodic and the discordant come together so well under the band's direction. Fans of Filosofem era Burzum as well as the likes of Caïna will want to give this a listen.

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