DIMENTIANON  Dreaming Yuggoth  CD   (Paragon)   9.99

Man, I love this band. You want to see a group of musicians pull off some wild sleight-of-hand with their sound? Dimentianon do just that with their latest album, the first in a dercade from these USBM iconoclasts. I had raved about the off-kilter, slightly prog-damaged blackened death of their Collapse The Void LP, an album that likewise took the black/death vibe and twisted and carved it into something unexpected. Well, Yuggoth does the same but in a completely different manner; I haven't seen much chatter about the album online, but this has got to be one of the wildest discs of 2021. I was originally drawn to these guys being a fan of their other bands, with one member doing time in Evoken, and a couple members manning the awesomely horrific underground doom outfit Rigor Sardonicous. After digging in to their older work, I've heard a band who has been in a state of constant violent flux with each new record, while remaining pretty commited to visions of cosmic horror and nihilism that move through the music on every record. The Lovecraftian-themed title of Dreaming Yuggoth is a giveaway for an even deeper push into nihilistic philosophy and jet-black cosmology, but tyhe lyrics offer something more intimately anguished and existential. No mere "bestial" blast with these guys, especially with this latest album.

The first time I listened to Yuggoth I thought I had them pinned down, with the beginning of the album exploding into a warblast of cyclonic black metal and deathdoom heaviosity. But with each song Dreaming Yuggoth shifts and turns on itself, a slow and deliberate move towards slower, almost gothic rock like arrangements that dominate the second half of the album. It's pretty brilliant listening, at first being flayed by the churning mass of black/death barbarism of "Undying Bliss" a rage of atavistic blastbeats and hypnotic, primitive riffing that cycles continuously. Kind of reminds me of the weirder latter day Beherit stuff, but only vaguely. But then the band emits clouds of symphonic-sounding synth into the otherwise monstrous, ascendent chorus, those keyboards filling the chaos with an unusual , majestic presence not often heard in this style of extreme metal. And an even bigger curve is thrown when the song melts down into eerie doom/death, a trudging, cadaverous procession. This growing atmopsheric and melodic feel builds as it proceeds to create an undeniably dark and anguished soundcape. "Dwelling Into Madness" unfursl into more ghostly death-doom spiked with those ethereal keys before erupting into murky blackened deathblast and swirls of carnivorous havoc. This killer combination of black metal, deathdoom, and strangely dreamy slo-mo periods of cello, glockenspiel, and synths takes the listener on a winding path of unearthly, catchy classic metal riffing, galloping tempos, ferodicous , almost punk-like bursts of mid-tempo disorder, the music swinging into ravines of massive death metal groove and bone-crushing chug, all assembled into off-kilter song structures and riff changes, and flashes of surreal, dissonant ambient keys that act like a toxic mortar for the band's relentlless attack. And the eleven somgs definitely deliver an assault, lead singer Mike Zanchelli spewing his hideous, almost monotone toad-croak with some seriously pissed-off sounding energy, and every riff and groove hammered into the earth with muscular, indomitable force.

But in the midst of this, a song meerges like "Smoke Rising" with its gleaming arpeggios and shimmering cymbals, backing choral voices rising as Zanchelli's menacing whisper drifts on pained eulogies. There's a notable shift here, as the album begins a transfiguration into more rocking, lyrical forms, the later songs sounding almost reminiscent of some early 90s gothic gloom like Lycia, a heavy darkwave vibe emerging and coalescing with the inherent heaviness and aggression; it's one of my favorite moments on Yuggoth. It gets even more intense as the ethereal, mournful atmopshere shifts again into a masssive doom dirge at the end, a simple, catchy hook grinding away at the light. There's more glimmering, dimly-lit gloom with the title track, a brief instrumental piece that unfolds into chorus-tinged guitars unwinding minor key sorrow over droning keys for a moment. There's also these great, melancholy baritone vocals from keyboardist Don Zaros that become another presence in Yuggoth's progression, contrasting nicely with Zanchelli's vicious blackened growl; that combo moves through the rest of the songs. This shift is unexpected and haunting, transforming "Beyond The Scree" and "The Infinite Talisman" into a kind of dark, withering, gnarled gothic rock underscored by the band's metallic power, the stately, world-weary mood and meditative groove evoking Fields Of The Nephilim's later work, the more accessible My Dying Bride songs, even some of Enslaved's more recent rock-influenced sound. That deep, yearning singing amid Dimentianon's abrasiveness definitetly reminds me of Eld-era Enslaved, but the comparison stops there. These guys craft all of this into something more harsh and erosive, finally moving from that ominous, gothy slowness into the most ruinous deathdoom of the album on "The Path Less Travelled", then closing with a piano and synth instrumental that's evocative of some old European folk song.

This album is epic. That mixture of black / death metal and deathdoom with those gloriously somber darkwave elements and how the band merges then together really turns the whole thing into something rather unique.

Track Samples:
Sample : Undying Bliss
Sample : Smoke Rising
Sample : The Infinite Talisman