11 As In Adversaries - The Full Intrepid Experience of Light
Proggy Black Metal
6 songs (41:37)
Release year: 2010
Reviewed by Jaime
Surprise of the month
Interesting. That's one way of describe 11 As In Adversaries album The Full Intrepid Experience of Light. It's a mixture of things, from the Black Metal stylings that the likes of Virus and Shining's (the one from Norway) jazzy flourishes and Code's abstract prose and general strangeness to, and bear with me here, some more modern Rock and... well... Indie. As odd as it may sound you can hear it in some of the riffs. They're not all trying to bring forth the 9th circle of Hell in praise of Great Satan, but are instead are focussed on just making interesting, listenable music. The listenable part is quite important here, as even though the band may be considered a tad too extreme for most tastes I'd imagine that most indie or rock fans would find something to like and that's fairly noticeable in the opening and title track. It's a 14 minute romp that covers so much ground it's hard to keep up, but with the little bluesy and jazz licks spliced between the wild drumming and almost sung vocals. These themes persist in the following track Agitation In The Glorious Theme, though it adds in the occasional wah guitar part and lo-fi saxophone section to excellent effect. There's just something so very catchy and bouncy about it all.

The Night Scalp Challenger is like a Black Metal musician got landed in the 20's. There's a swing vibe weaving through it all, with the distorted vocals conjuring up images of a macabre carnival announcer (or grim Street Fighter, take your pick) for the first few minutes before it turns all Enslaved with guitar parts that could be lifted straight out of one of their albums, definitely not a bad thing. The whole song has that whole proper, ohGodwhatisthatIcan'tseeitohshitI'mdead type of horrific atmosphere in abundance and is probably the first "proper" Black Metal song on the album in that way. Reckless Beacon's Attraction has a similar atmosphere but carries it in a different way with its effects laden guitar parts and electronic percussion section. The different structure allows it to continue the feeling from the previous song but in its own separate way, and the growling vocals are used heavily in contrast to the earlier tracks. This leads on to a short instrumental A Stealthy Freedom which is mainly a continuation of the last motif on the previous song before the final track Verses From Which to Whirl enters. It has a bit more of a straight forward approach, think latter day Satyricon with the occasional bluesy solo and post rock part thrown in. For any other band the song would be pretty complex, but it's practially naked given how the album started. That doesn't make it bad though, in fact it's quite nice to hear something a bit more stripped back from the band as well.

On my playthroughs of the album I struggled to find anything that I really disagreed with beyond how short it was. The mix and production all work well, every performance is fantastic and the songwriting is top quality. It was a bit of a shame that as it goes on the varied influences begin to break away to leave a Black Metal core but there is definitely something here that could appeal to fans far beyond the genre, for the first few tracks at the very least. Maybe that's the band's plan, to lure in unsuspecting listeners who may not see where the roots lie and try and bring them into the fold, but in the likely event that it isn't it can't distract from what is an obscenely promising debut album.
Killing Songs :
Jaime quoted 93 / 100
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