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Saturday, January 30, 2016

Review: Mussorgski - Creatio Cosmicam Bestiae


Mussorgski, a band with a long legacy in the death metal scene, returns with a new album: Creatio Cosmicam Bestiae; ambient, black as death, but still with a good foundation underlying all. The band does what all should think they would, as some of the black metal scene will never want to change one thing about the bad recording quality, and the obscureness which perhaps is just as fitting for a genre that’s prone to lurking in the shadows. Meaning no disrespect to any black metaller, it is still distinguishable in Mussorgski’s new album that there is some break with this tradition; It’s no use holding up the sentiment when what you really want to achieve with your sound is an ambient, large, epic sound. And that happens, certainly not throughout, but in a lot of moments Mussorgski find the grandeur and are truly eerie, dark and mysterious.

Khorzon, responsible for all instruments and most of the vocals on the tracks of Creatio Cosmicam Bestiae, is gifted when setting an atmosphere with just a few simple points of introduction. The keyboards play a big part on this album, and are mostly responsible for this. The eerie strings wrap everything else up and bind it together. Also very powerful and interesting are the rest of the electronics, which are somewhat strange sometimes but go more towards a space-like feel, something rare in black metal and nonetheless pretty well mixed in. The guitars, however, lack somewhat in strength due to the heavy presence of this strings section. They drown in the rest of the music, while they could have given the album just that bit more grittiness and power. The vocals are the ones who have to make this happen but they only achieve this brutality at times, which is somewhat of a shame.

Overall, this album is an easy listen if you are up to some gloomy atmosphere that is not all up in your face but still has its moments of grandeur. Creatio Cosmicam Bestiae is at times very eerie and truly menacing. It is very slow and repetitive but the musical phrases are very well assembled and the subtle differences never result in a dull moment. Concluding, this is definitely an album worth listening to for fans of the genre, and this old band still has what it takes to get you taken away to darkness.

Written by Frank van Drunen

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