Spektr - The Art to Disappear
Agonia Records
Industrial Black Metal
9 songs (39' 19")
Release year: 2016
Agonia Records
Reviewed by Andy

Parisian black metal outfit Spektr takes the black metal sound in an extremely odd direction. I wouldn't say that about a lot of bands, but in this case, what the two do with the sound is fascinating. The Art to Disappear, their latest LP, mingles the soulless harshness of industrial music with cutting-edge blasting from modern technical extreme metal, the cold precision of the samples (the only words on the whole album) setting off the wild fury of the black metal portions.

The atmosphere is of comfortless menace, and Through the Darkness of Future Past begins with a slow rhythm that follows the words of the samples, all of which come from movies with themes of darkness and conspiracy (the first one's from David Lynch's Twin Peaks). The bass is distorted and demented, drummer kl.K. has the blistering speed and complexity of tech death in a number of portions, and the crunch of the frighteningly precise guitar work is quite simply a treat to listen to. In between the black metal portions are forays into ambient territory; they're never overused, but they provide a counterpoint, and it is definitely a surprise to see explosive blastbeats switch to electronic synth scrapings or echoing sampled shouting.

They aren't particularly less dark than their predecessors, however. Usually, they only last long enough to get the listener to imagine they might end up comprising the song, more guitar blasting erupts. A few tracks, like Soror Mystica, are all-ambient, but most combine it in a seamless amalgam of electro-industrial beats, wailing dual-string riffs, and ferocious palm-muted blasting at top speed. Though From the Terrifying to the Fascinating is a worthy mention riff-wise here, the title track itself does the best job at combining the computer-generated and the physical with maximum effect. It's an ominous, dragging piece consisting of black metal riffing with halts for soft drum-and-synth interludes that have an Angelo Badalamenti-style lounge vibe.

Seekers of innovations in the black metal world are likely to enjoy The Art to Disappear. It's complex, precise, and (of course) very dark, but the combination of ambient and industrial themes with extreme metal's more progressive end of the pool is done in a way that few seem to be able to get right.

Killing Songs :
Through the Darkness of Future Past, The Art to Disappear
Andy quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by Spektr that we have reviewed:
Spektr - Cypher reviewed by Jared and quoted 72 / 100
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