Farsot - Insects
Lupus Lounge
Progressive Black Metal
8 songs (55:07)
Release year: 2011
Farsot, Lupus Lounge
Reviewed by Goat

After a very good debut in the form of 2007’s IIII, the ever-cryptic German black metallers Farsot are back with a new album. And it’s almost like they’re determined to be more cryptic than ever before, from the medieval-medical artwork to the fuzz that opens the album, before things kick off properly. Like Flakes Of Rust is pretty much an extended intro, launching into surprisingly catchy riffage after said fuzz with... ugh, samples, already? Plus, the vocals are suspiciously Csihar-y, those slow throaty snarls that only Mayhem have the ability to make work sounding, as usual, a bit silly here. Still, don’t let that put you off, because once you’re past that first track Farsot are back at their usual job of making black metal that tickles the brain as much as the frostbitten soul, proggy meandering at the start of Empyrean soon leading to a thick wall of atmospheric riffing that plunges you deep into their world of misery. The vocals turn growly, the gentle, Enslaved-esque interlude moments are as calm-yet-riddled-with-ominous-dread as they should be, and even the brief moments of clean vocals work well.

So far, so good – the band have done nothing that a careful listener of German black metal won’t have heard before. It’s worth stressing just how good Farsot are, however, the last moments of Empyrean wonderfully Cynic-al with soft prog melodies intertwining atop a steady drumbeat, before the sudden riffage of Perdition storms in, jolting you out of your reverie. Moving towards a more Rebel Extravaganza-meets-Watain style of black metal, all divergent drum patterns and sudden shifts leftfield, it’s here that I think Farsot will develop their sound more in coming releases, headbangable yet quite obviously pursuing their own guitar-focused style. As it is, this can sometimes sound a little too much like water-treading, as good as moments are in context. Both the ominous tones of Adamantine Chains and the building battery of The Vermilion Trail seem to turn deliberately catchy and listener-friendly instead of following an ever-greater atmospheric path. It’s all quite different from the more austere IIII, Insects seemingly more interested in listener reaction than in the band doing their own thing and expecting you to go along with them.

Which isn’t a bad thing, of course, but I did find myself tiring of the catchy parts faster than the others, which perhaps says more about my approach to black metal than anything! Pleasingly, this approach of the band worked for me in other parts of the album, the refreshingly weird guitar tones of Withdrawl fitting the disturbing vocals well and launching into horns-aloft metal riffage and drum battery, even a fade-out not spoiling the song before the melancholic outro of Somnolent brings you back to reality. Ultimately, it all suggests that my nit-picking is overly harsh, and that the band will offer even more to fresh listeners. It’s hard to compare Insects with IIII, really, since this is quite a step sideways, and adds a lot to the formula – being an underground sort of guy, I ultimately prefer the earlier album, but there’s no denying that Insects is a damn good listen that will appeal to fans of black metal that walks a path both progressive and hateful.

Killing Songs :
Empyrean, Perdition, Withdrawl, Somnolent
Goat quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Farsot that we have reviewed:
Farsot - Fail·Lure reviewed by Goat and quoted 75 / 100
Farsot - IIII reviewed by Goat and quoted 84 / 100
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