NEKRASOV  The Form Of Thought From Beast  CD   (Exotic Corpse)   15.98

The second album from the Australian industrial black metal alchemist Nekrasov, following up that amazing Into The No Mans Sphere Of Ancient Days disc. I loved the debut, which I had thought sounded like an offshoot of the frozen black metal/industrial sound of French label Flamme Noir and bands like C.Y.T. and Drastus. Harsh noise textures and a blackened industrial sheen married perfectly to blazing, low-fi black metal, without ever diminishing the black metal core of the music. Amazing stuff, and this new disc explores this sound further with eight tracks that sometimes isolate these elements.

The opening track "Debris; Soul As Dust" is short, beginning with distorted pulses that almost sound like bombs going of in the distance as a dark, rumbling presence descends, a sinister dronefield of ultra desolate minimal blackness inhabited only by weird swirling hissing and deep subterranean moans. Then the second track "Mountain Ash" suddenly kicks in, and we're abruptly wrenched from that icy ambience into a ferocious BLACK METAL assault, raw and buzzsaw thrashing, without any overtly industrial elements making themselves heard. It's still epic and massive though, a heavy coat of reverb all over the malevolent riffs and the jackhammer blastbeats, slipping in and out of near-rocking grooves with some deliriously catchy melodies hidden underneath the thrash. From there we move to "Today The Sun A Golden Illusion"...and again the form of Nekrasov transforms before us as a massive droning riff is unleashed, a simple two-note wall of orchestral buzz that floats over a simple midpaced drum machine rhythm with pulsing cymbals twinkling over spaced out beats, a single riff looped over and over surrounded by swirling distorted chords and bestial, noise-cloaked vocals howling through the blackness. The whole track starts to sound like a blackened majestic kosmiche trance, blossoming into deeper shades of black and grey, droning endlessly until it comes to a sudden stop. The next track "Dreams Of Swallowing Black Space Expansion" is even further out...a horrific noisescape filled with rushing ice winds and lush distortion, a psychedelic blizzard of snarling vocals washed out in white noise, a rattling thunderous clanking overwhelming everything like the sound of a train passing overheard, the echo of the tracks and whooshing winds crashing all around you. "Neti" returns to the black metal with awesome frosty riffing and thundering, galloping double-bass drumming, a triumphant grim hook powering the song to it's blown-out chorus where dense layers of underlying melody and electronic noise suddenly seep up from below. "Continuum Of The Beast" features immensely sorrowful symphonic synths over darkened ambient drift, sounding like a funeral hymn being played on woodwinds above a slowly swirling minor key organ drone...gradually joined by an oncoming tide of crackling distortion. When "And Then Seared That Heart" comes in, the dark ambient synths of the previous track reappear, droning alongside ferocious psychedelic black metal riding on a churning double-bass rhythm. Screeching vocals appear out of phase, multiple distorted voices crashing in one another, the hypnotic buzzing riff repeating over and over - very trancey and delirious. And then we come to the final track, the title track, "The Form Of Though From Beast"...it starts off as a desolate droning industrial waste, filled with deep rumbling drones and weird chain-rattling sounds, distant barely-there Gregorian like chants, creepy hooting sounds bouncing from speaker to speaker, super abstract, a little like a blackened Universal Indians maybe, but then several minutes in we begin to hear the surge of a massive distorted riff, a behemoth buzzsaw hook grinding in mid-void. There's a melody in this murk as it moves into an even more spacious, trippy ocean of otherworldly sounds and looped noises, until it suddenly explodes into a blazing sphere of ultra-distorted blackdrone, howling shrieks pulled into endless distorted screams, spacey fx swirling everywhere, with another massive majestic riff buried way down below the blasting, buzzing murk, an almost orchestral wall of sound that then gives way to waves of stuttering blastbeats tripping over each other, creating a weird displacer effect. Those weird stumbling blastbeats melt into the miasma of buzz and beautiful obsidian drones and cosmic streakings and finally collapses in on itself, ending the track in an avalanche of crumbling distortion. Absolutely mind-melting.

Can't recommend this enough - like the first album, this is a must-get for anyone into abstract, deformed black metal, bands like Wold and Portal, Abruptum and Vargr and C.Y.T. Seriously amazing. And we've got the super-limited version of the disc too, but just a tiny TINY handful of copies...this version of the disc is packaged in a glossy black-and-white foldover sleeve which is enclosed in a large envelope that has been hand painted in heavy red and black, some abstract fungoid artwork covering the entire front of the envelope...pretty cool. Only 100 of these were made, these handmade versions of the disc are already long gone from the label and we've got the last of 'em.