Year of release: 2014
Released by: Thou Shalt Kill! Records
Rating: 7,6 / 10
The third album, according to the band and its fans, was the beginning of a new round in the work of DO SKONU. In fact, it's easy to see a departure from the traditional methods on this LP. Fewer blast beats, almost no open rage. The songs have become much slower and more atmospheric, as well as more complex in terms of structures; the sound of a sharp turned into more soft and warm. Most likely, during the period of the songwriting, Varagian was fond of rock music of the 70s, or something like that. Banal epithets, like “hypnotic” and “monotonous”, fit perfectly well. A great example is the seven-minute “The Primal Nether”.
A huge role is played by vocals. A creaky, emotionless voice that stretches words slightly resembles INQUISITION (like music, too), but I would avoid direct comparisons. Varagian’s voice is noticeably more ... mystical than Dagon’s. It is as if it comes from behind a hazy veil, which in my imagination has a rotten green color. The poisonous essence of DO SKONU music is revealed on this album even better than before, although no reference to snake themes was noticed this time. But the fact remains: when listening, it is impossible not to imagine smoking cauldrons, dark magic rites and other shamanic affairs (although the album has nothing to do with the fashionable retro aesthetics of occultism hat is so popular among metal bands of today).
Of course, great interest are the lyrics. Perhaps they are even the defining element for the entire album. Written in a fanciful literary language, they demonstrate a serious variety. Some (unexpectedly for me, and a little disappointingly) are made in the spirit of the classic “safe” atheistic philosophy: criticism of God and faith, the topic of raising over the herd, and so on. Others turn to more serious things - the above-mentioned primal nether, Death, the end of the world. Finally, there is "Frontier Justice" and "Nectar of Bestial Passion", where the texts are the simplest and most extreme. It is wonderful that each song musically corresponds to its lyrics. “Atheistic” things turned out to be the most "rockish" (the title track, perhaps even too much - it smells like stoner rock in some places), “serious” songs - the darkest and deepest, and the simplest - the more traditional by Black Metal standards. Such an understanding of own music (characteristic, by the way, for a very small number of artists) cannot but rejoice.
My final impression of the “Great Awakening ...” is very good, although perhaps it’s still far from a masterpiece. The only - but large - claim is that the compositions as such are the weakest point of the album. Almost everything here is great - the atmosphere, the images, the lyrics, the vocals - but listening to the music itself is sometimes far from interesting. However, the musicians make new albums to develop, and the “Hell” of 2016 represents a significant step forward, but we'll talk about that next time. “The Great Awakening ...” was released in digibook format limited to 333 copies, and is currently sold out. Although individual specimens can still be fished out on Discocks or in various distros. Despite the minimalism, the design of the disc has a very powerful effect, especially if you read the texts rather than just flipping through the pages. See more details on a video.