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9.99/10 Chaim
5.5/10 Mladen
 

WHELM - A Gaze Blank and Pitiless as the Sun (Reissue) - CD - Aesthetic Death - 2015

Have you ever heard one of those bands whose music creates a universe? Have you ever listened to music that is a cathedral of tears and pain? a flood of grey matter and never-ending gloomy days? Well, Whelm's A Gaze Blank and Pitiless as the Sun - originally released in 2013 and reissued by Aesthetic Death in 2015 - is one of those miserable mishaps who just make your day far worse than it's already been.

This slow, creeping death metal is layered with various vocal approaches and post-metal flirtations, sometimes in the background and sometimes in the foreground, as a sort of a musical hide-and-seek game. It is a cryptic, macabre show written and played flawlessly by a band which no longer exists - a fact we all should mourn. This album is Whelm's short-lived legacy - its glorious zenith of creation as well as its swansong.

The death metal on display is as simple as it is addictive. It is as appealing as it is alienating. This album is not about being technical or versatile or progressive; this album is about making you as uncomfortable as possible. It's a testament to the magical ability of music to steer and shake you to your very core, and when on your knees, you beg for some more of that sweet, sweet punishment.

It all boils down to sounding industrial and cold without incorporating even a single distinctive element of the so-called "industrial sound." The very bleakness and gigantic proportions of the music, its heartlessness and gut wrenching brutality of both sound and emotion - these allow this album to sound mechanical, cold and indifferent to the pain of the world.

A Gaze Blank and Pitiless as the Sun is a haunting endeavor, an epic horror show. It's one of those insane death metal albums which own a truly lunatic vibe, either created by the vocals, the atmosphere or the music; and in Whelm's case, it's all three factors combined. From the rotten-sounding vocals to the perfectly light-less melodies, to the unfathomable weight of the tunes to the emotional burden they create this album is a cruel, sonic black hole from which no light escapes.

So whether you like Mindrot's Forlorn (a timeless album in its own right) or a combination of Neurosis, Asphyx and Gorefest (blood, sweat and tears - the holy trinity of this music), caught up in a knife fight while loaded up on hallucinogenics, or just love your death metal awesome, then this life changing album is all you'll ever need.

Aesthetic Death has once again unearthed a forgotten musical gem that otherwise would have been remained buried in the great mass grave of obscurity and anonymity (which would have deprived us of the pleasure of enjoying one of the greatest albums ever recorded in recent times); and the label receives kudos from us, for proudly making another commercial suicide by releasing this nocturnal recording in the most professional manner possible; fools are those who will miss the opportunity of listening to this excellent and rare recording which is only a click of a button away, and then go grab your copy! (9.99/10)

 

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ISSUE 78
ALBUM REVIEWS

(A-B)  (B-D)  (D-G)  (G-K)  (K-M)  (M-P)  (P-S)  (S-ST)  (S-W)  (W-Z)

ADOLFO, ANTONIO
Tema

ALBEZ DUZ
The Coming Of M

ARCHEMORON
Sulphur and Fir

ARKADIA
Unrelenting

ARMONITE
The Sun Is New

ARS MORIENDI
La Singuliere N

ASHEN HORDE
Nine Plagues

BJORKENHEIM, RA...
eCsTaSy

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