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DIAPSIQUIR  Virus S.T.N.  CD   (Necrocosm)   11.98
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   The 2005 album from one of France's most depraved black metal outfits is finally back in print! Here's my old write-up of the album from when we first got it in stock back then:

   Took multiple spins of Virus S.T.N. to even begin to get a grasp of what is going on with France's Diapsiquir. The sophomore album from these eclectic black metal surrealists is so intricately assembled and disorientating, it is impossible to absorb everything that is going on here in just one sitting. Just looking at the design of this thing, it's hard to guess what this will sound like: collages of photographs capturing blips of urban contamination surround the Diapsiquir logo, an awesome, heavily stylized riff on the "goat of Mendes" image, with the outer ring of the logo inscribed in the words "Seringue Absorption Torture Alienation Nihilisme", which obviously forms the acronym SATAN. All evil and misanthropic enough, but as soon as the eerie beats and classical sampling of opening track "Incubation" kicks this off, it's pretty clear that this is going to be anything but traditional black metal.

    Distant, ambient synths and sampled string sections play a recognizable classical melody over dubby, staticky trip-hop beats and abrasive industrial samples, the beats constantly shifting as far-off black metal riffs and distant sounds of screaming children appear alongside deep, raspy, half-spoken vocals. It's more like apocalyptic, avant-garde trip-hop than anything resembling black metal. But then "Venin Intemporel, Rouille Universelle, Satan" kicks in with

that weirdly atonal black metal riff and what sounds like a mix of both blasting drum programming and actual live drumming, and this erupts into total violence; multiple vocalists screech and howl and rant over the percussive thrash before the song turns into a trippy dirge, glitchy electronic noise suddenly sweeping over another eerie, discordant riff and time-delayed vocals, before transforming into a surreal mash-up of Voivod style riffs, crushing breakbeats, damaged French folk music, squawking shrieks trading off with electronically processed vocals and a sort of broken cadence that sounds like some kind of demented, mutant French hip hop.

    It's a bizarre mash-up of influences and sounds that these guys put together, but Diapsiquir somehow manage to make their maniacal cacophony extremely evil sounding, imbued with a gleeful misanthropy that seeps from their whacked-out song structures and forays into fucked-up, anti-human hip-hop. Definitely not what you'd probably expect from a duo that includes one of the guys from blasphemous French black metallers Arkhon Infaustus. But there's certainly a strong current of black metal that runs through this album, an industrialized vision of black metal that prowls the same grim, post-Armageddon urban wastelands as those inhabited by Aborym, Mysticum and Dödheimsgard, but so much more fucked-up and drug-addled. Each song a blackened fever dream of pounding techno beats and grinding Industrial rhythms, powerful and dissonant black/thrash riffs, spurts of avant-garde jazz, appropriated themes from both The Godfather and Scarface film scores tossed into vats of hallucinatory electronics, songs frequently taking a ninety-degree stylistic turn right in the middle of the track. Even the production style of Virus S.T.N. is twisted, using weird mixing decisions and post-production fuckery that makes parts of this sound like some avant-garde hip-hop record. Utterly confounding, flamboyantly weird industrial/electro/black metal strangeness; these guys go pretty far beyond the experimentations of even the likes of Manes and Dødheimsgard. Highly recommended to adventurers in the field of psychedelic, dystopian black metal.


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