Year of release: 2019
Released by: Aesthetic Death Records
Rating: 8,5 / 10
After a short break, I come back to you with another excellent album, which brings a lot of painful emotions and makes one doubt the necessity of one's own existence. The band ZATEMNO is a representative of the creative circle that has developed around the Russian label Death Knell Productions, well known to customers of underground distros from the CIS. In this case, this is not some bunch of clowns, but a proper collective of artists who share common musical and ideological values. And although these values are quite far from traditional Black Metal, and the participants of the circle are clearly not averse to experimenting with various substances, the results of their work are very interesting. The musicians of ZATEMNO also played in ROTTING HEAVEN, CAGE OF CREATION and VTTA, and Death Knell, in addition to the bands mentioned above, also releases, for example, S and Fields of Mildew - recognizable and unusual projects.
"In the Noose" risks becoming (in fact, has already become) the beginning of the breakthrough of DKP circle to the global market. The album was released by Aesthetic Death Records, and a large part of the technical work was undertaken by well-known people: Greg Chandler (ESOTERIC) did the mastering, and tireless Stijn van Cauter (ARCANE VOIDSPLITTER, THE ETHEREAL, THE NULLL COLLECTIVE, UNTIL DEATH OVERTAKES ME, WIJLEN WIJ) helped with the design of the layout. Perhaps, "In the Noose" is somehow primitive by the standards of Aesthetic Death, but this is good, because Stu loves to release completely insane experimental stuff. The work of ZATEMNO is stylistically similar to the most disgusting of the styles of heavy music - the urban depressive metal shitrock - but the musicians' approach changes everything dramatically. The elements of rock and post-rock are used in a completely different way than in LIFELOVER, ODDFRYKJA or, forgive me, PSYCHONAUT 4. The same with the thematical part: front cover and samples in the tracks make you think about the difficult lot of people who've been unlucky enough to born in Russia, but it’s not at all “I’m sitting drunk on a porch and cutting my veins". Everything is much deeper, larger, crazier and... scarier. Unfortunately, I don’t have a chance to figure it out better - in my promo version there are no lyrics, and by the snippets that can be heard by ear, I can only say that these lyrics are quite eloquent.
Trump cards of ZATEMNO revealed already at the start of the first track, which for some reason is called “Introduction”, although this is a full song for more than 7 minutes. There is melancholic part of semi-acoustics, acoustics echoing to it, cunning bass and almost the most important instrument on the album - an accordion, without which "In the Noose" would lost half of it's strength. All parts get along well with each other, adjusting themselves to the constantly transforming constructions of the compositions. Of course, there is a chance that all this was composed in a single rush, but I put on a long and painstaking work. When the level of interaction within the music is so good, it speaks of sweat buckets spilled during rehearsals. The first track already contains so much material and tricks that on their basis it would be possible to play the same thing with variations until the end of the album, but ZATEMNO left a couple more aces in the sleeve. The second track, in fact, is more similar to real introduction, as it is almost entirely composed of accordion, guitar, synth and some other weird ambient with vocals. The key fragment in it is a ragged, half-drunk ballad. This type of music is in no way "filler" for ZATEMNO on the contrary, it is even more sophisticated and difficult to perceive than metal part. The first half of third track includes almost traditional material - a buzzing, chaotic guitar riff and a chorus with an accordion - and after the middle it seems to turn into a completely different song. The fourth track starts where the predecessor ends, and for a long time pretends to be metal, but in the end it still breaks into a mad gloomy ambient. In general, the structure of the album is confusing, but intriguing.
However, you can torment the instruments until the fingers fall off, but in the end, only one thing is important - does the album evoke any emotions and feelings? Fortunately (or unfortunately), "In the Noose" easily copes with this task, persistently inviting you to follow it into the neat oval of a rope tied to the old Soviet chandelier. Of course, it has nothing to do with the echo of pissed cellars (in other words, DS"BM") - not in the music, nor in the vocals. We are talking about a complete collapse, the inevitable decomposition of the body and spirit, the absolute insignificance of existence, impenetrable darkness, enveloping the dim light of life from all sides. The impression is indelible, and it can make you reconsider your look at some things if you decide to hang out in this musical (for the time being) loop in a certain mood.