Friday, January 8, 2016

Arizmenda - Stillbirth In The Temple of Venus (2014)

Genre: Black Metal
Country: United States 

 Arizmenda is the sound of black metal losing its mind. That's what makes them so ***ING good; the trepidation you can't help but feel when listening to them. That spine-chilling sense of paranoia like something is creeping just behind you. When listening to Arizmenda, you don't feel safe. They wouldn't have it any other way.

For all the bands that deal with matters of mental torment, Arizmenda has, since their 2007 inception, been among the best. Their debut album Within the Vacuum of Infinity... was a harrowing experience of atmospheric black metal. Follow-up Without Circumference Nor Center emphasized the psychedelic subtleties of previous record, igniting that fervor into feverish delirium. After what seemed like an eternal three year wait, The Black Twilight Circle's most notorious band have dropped their most accomplished work to date, Stillbirth In The Temple of Venus.

Building on the foundation provided by 2013's glorious compilation Tliltic Tlapoyauak, Stillbirth In The Temple of Venus dispenses with the free-flowing songwriting of the band's previous full-lengths in favor of a style that's more deliberate and consciously structured. The brilliantly titled "Cum In Your Wound" contrasts blackened psychedelia with claustrophobic atmospheres to create a hallucinogenic effect, while "Innocence and Illness" opens with vibrant melodies before descending into a chasm of anxiety-filled darkness. As a whole, Stillbirth... thrives on the dichotomy between deranged melodies and the band's trademarked discordance. Though the album features much more of the former than ever before, tracks like "Satyriasis" proves its increased implementation only serves to accentuate the insanity of the latter.

It's so relieving to see Arizmenda diversify. For as good as their style was, it would have inevitably become stale. Here, we see them progress without losing the core elements that make them such a unique entity. Stillbirth In The Temple of Venus is a black metal album all fans of the genre absolutely must hear; you'd be crazy not to.


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