Tuesday 29 August 2017

ALBUM REVIEW: One Master - “Lycanthropic Burrowing”

By: Ernesto Aguilar

Full length: Full length
Date Released: 14/07/2017
Label: Eternal Death

Lycanthropic Burrowing” is a shredding reminder One Master is back and they have not missed a step since their last release.

“Lycanthropic Burrowing” CS//DD//LP track listing:

1. The Claws of Dionysus
2. Will of the Shadow
3. The Black Bat
4. Death Resurrection
5. Erosion
6. Lycanthropic Burrowing

The Review:

Much is offered about black metal, its history, contemporary acts and imagery. And given how notorious that story is, it is thus incredibly difficult to be distinctive among the hundreds of performers that have cemented its legacy.

Now on their ninth release, One Master returns with its follow up to 2015's "Reclusive Blasphemy." Just by virtue of longevity, One Master deserves a great deal of praise. With "Lycanthropic Burrowing," the American black metal act notches another win in creating its best release yet.

To the untrained ear, black metal can be all noise and theatrics. Perhaps that is not a wholly unfair appraisal, considering the number of black metal musicians who fulfill both expectations exceedingly well. As you go back through One Master's catalog, you get to know how well the outfit sees the importance of the aforementioned matters. Why is "Lycanthropic Burrowing" so notable then? Maybe it is a maturity of its sound or faithfulness to its lyrical stories. However, One Master presents a new release that is well produced and incredibly polished. The mix is exceptional, the vocals are exceedingly good and the rest of the instrumentation is pitch perfect if you could ever ascribe such a phrase to black metal.

From "The Claws of Dionysus," which begins the release, and then into "Will of the Shadow," One Master make it clear that the trio's chemistry sets the tone. Guitar, bass and drums are balanced well against the lyrics for a sound that recalls classic black metal, with a hint of hardcore chord progressions among other influences. The post-production in these opening cuts is immaculate. The lyrics are not washed out by the sort of sonic bludgeoning you could get from a less experienced band. The guitar and bass are raging, but do not overwhelm the drums. One Master gives fans a fearless album, but one that is smart enough to know the base is sophisticated enough to know if it sounds like crap. Thankfully “Lycanthropic Burrowing” leaps out to you like everything but.

Sound does matter, even in extreme music, and One Master's aesthetic is outstanding for its quality and ethos. With musical themes this recording is centered around the mind's many antisocial and confusing swings, the lyrics convey the darkest tales to match. Take the jackhammer drums of "The Black Bat," a tune that pulses with chaos like you're running from your fate. It is typical of the complete package you receive. It is matched with "Death Resurrection," which comes at you in a similarly anarchic fashion. The vocals are almost animalistic in their storytelling of vampires, lycans and damnation, these specters of our minds. And they are not beasts you will soon forget, as shared here.

The album's title track wraps up One Master's journey and caps a mammoth recording with more of the same: unreal vocals, precise musicianship and an abundant sound. What you may miss in experimentation you get in sheer quality. “Lycanthropic Burrowing” is a shredding reminder One Master is back and they have not missed a step since their last release.

 “Lycanthropic Burrowing” is available here

Band info: facebook

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