- Advent Sorrow
- Kali Yuga Crown
- Depressive Black Metal
Advent Sorrow are an Australian black metal band that have been going at it since 2009 to moderate amounts of acclaim. They’ve come back this year with their new album titled “Kali Yuga Crown”.
To get more specific they operate out of the niche genre depressive suicidal black metal, or DSBM for short. It’s not a genre I’ve ever been all that into, but granted it is, as I said, very niche – so not a lot of music comes out of it, and the music that does come out of it rarely makes it’s way to the ears of the uninitiated. That being said, this album is a very good gateway into the genre. It incorporates elements of other genres and sub-genres such as atmospheric black metal, 1st wave black metal, and doom. The atmospheric moments come in the form of occasional keyboard flourishes and melodic guitar riffs, these influences are most present on the closing track “Death In Magic Antagonism.” The doom influences can be found on the track “Caesar” which employs these very slow, sludgy riffs. Then on tracks like “Spearhead” and “Wolf & Weapon” you can see more classic and traditional black metal song structure, especially in the drums. It’s like a black metal layer cake.
Speaking of the drums, Martin Donnelly is an absolute beast behind his kit. He bends to every style the band goes for perfectly and crushes it every time. The production on the drums – and the entire album for that matter – is amazing. The drums are just high enough in the mix to be present without being over powering, and everything sounds so clean and sharp. Especially the kick drum, that kick drum roll that goes on throughout the closer sounds amazing. The production on the album as a whole lands right in the middle of squeaky clean and lo-fi which is perfect, it allows the album to still be raw and heavy without sounding horrible. The guitars are one big wall of menacing yet melancholic noise that give the whole album a very dark feeling. I do wish the bass was more present but that’s okay.
The vocal performance here is truly wild. Seriously, some major props go to vocalist Rhys King. Several different metal vocal techniques are done here and he flows between them with ease. He uses guttural growls, these really distorted sounding mids, some haunting mournful clean vocals, and the signature DSBM shrieks. Now, if you’re familiar with the genre you know exactly what i’m talking about, if you aren’t, the best way I can describe them is these agonized screams that sound more like their coming from the mouth of someone being stabbed to death rather than someone trying to make music. I’m usually not a big fan of this vocal style, but against the eerie and depressing production and overall mood of the album they work here. Another DSBM characteristic this album holds is the lyrical fixation with suicide and depression.
Coming from someone who’s very picky with his black metal, this is one of the best black metal albums I’ve heard all year. It’s got a long run time on it, but with all the different layers of sound and style it has to offer you’ll hardly even notice it. This album is more of an experience than an album. It’s full of dark depressing twists and turns and it’s an essential listen for any metalhead this year.