Friday, 18 September 2015

Skepticism - 'Ordeal' (Album Review)

By: Hunter Young

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 18/09/2015
Label: Svart Records



The album is very well rounded, as the band meshes with a very odd mix of carnival organ and orchestra. On the track ‘Momentary’, it encompasses, sonically the album title: it's the aural equivalent of an ordeal, undertaken under severe duress. The song is heavy, mixing the keys in a way that it feels like a parody of a waltz. It's trudging to a beat.

‘Ordeal’ CD//DVD//LP track listing:

1). "You"
2). "Momentary"
3). "The Departure"
4). "March Incomplete"
5). "The Road"
6). "Closing Music"

Skepticism is:

Matti Tilaeus | vocals
Jani Kekarainen | guitars
Timo Sitomaniemi | guitars
Eero Pöyry | keyboards
Lasse Pelkonen | drums

The Review:

It's always fun to find an album so bare in sound, so scalding in its execution, that one really feels put upon by the band. One such album, ‘Ordeal’, manages to abrade both speakers and ears, as the executioner Skepticism sits back and lets the austerity burn itself out like a cigarette held to the hand. 

It's weird to think the term minimalist here, as Skepticism has many parts all working together, a well oiled machine, but the sound is very simple. A blackened sound, approaching that of aural nihility, played at funeral March doom speeds simply roll like a black cloud on a bad day. Orchestral machinations happen around the band, as they deliver such bleak sounding material; it's very hard to get work done with it on. It constantly hovers on your shoulder, whispering that you should stop and just listen. Let it happen. Sink into the despondent notes. It's blackened gothic doom, leading to a sense of nothingness and a burning sadness.

The album is very well rounded, as the band meshes with a very odd mix of carnival organ and orchestra. On the track ‘Momentary’, it encompasses, sonically the album title: it's the aural equivalent of an ordeal, undertaken under severe duress. The song is heavy, mixing the keys in a way that it feels like a parody of a waltz. It's trudging to a beat. The album has some very major moments of huge sound, dramatic chords, and what sound like moments where the devil himself would pop out with thunder and lightning, in its terrible glory. It's heady and heavy! 

The album also isn't short at all, with a run time around 80 minutes; you're going to be stuck on this one for a while if you choose to go all the way through. It has some very beautiful moments, but overall it’s quite the negative journey. Bring snacks, maybe a good beer or bud, and you should be fine. Topped off with some brutally poignant artwork of a funeral ensemble (less exciting than a War Ensemble, trust me), the album simply oozes with primal negativity. 

Pick this up if you aren't afraid to face that which is your end.


‘Ordeal’ is available here

FFO: Shape of Despair, Ahab, Esoteric, Thergothon

Band info: official | facebook

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