Black Metal continues to prove that beauty can be found in the darkest of places and that there is more to the surface than meets the eye. Amongst the shrieks and distortion, there is a hidden message full of depth and meaning.
The latest example I have come across are Ottwa based SERENE DARK. They were formerly called ENDEMISE and have two albums under their belts already. They are due to release their intriguing third studio album Enantiodromia, the ride through this record is chaotic and full of despair. In terms of Black Metal, this is huge praise.
Enantiodromia starts off with the track Dualitatem. It’s the latin word for dyad or duality, which can be heard here. This atmospheric introduction consists of a haunting melody on the piano, cello and violin. You also hear quotes from Carl Jung, the psychiatrist who discovered the principle enantiodromia. You are so immersed into this introduction that you may forget something will shatter this ambience. In this case, it was a brutal impact consisting of prevailing shrieks, fierce riffs and rapid drums.
Enantiodromia is a principle that looks into the tendency of things to change into their opposites. In an earlier discovering from Greek Philosopher Heraclitus, he states this: “cold things warm, warm things cool, wet things dry and parched things get wet.” In the case with this album, they carry across this theory very well. In terms of the arrangements, a lot of the elements merge into their opposites. Below, are songs that show this principle.
Throughout the duration of Trance Of Disintegration, I am reminded heavily of FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE. In this track, there is a careful and perfect balance between brutality and elegance. Elements such as Francesco Falsetto’s piercing shrieks and Alex Aksentyev’s pounding bass line work impeccably against the majestic symphonies within the background. This is a great example of opposites merging into one another.
When trying to cram different elements into a track, particularly opposing ones, it can go either way. It can backfire immensely or work out splendidly. Reflecting Envenomed proved that this can work really well. Like the previous tracks, the balance of majestic grace and sheer brutality is excellent here.
The Last Disciple Of Dionysus is an interesting song title on it’s own. Dionysus was primarily known as the Greek god of wine. He was also the ancient Greek god for ritual madness and religious ecstasy. His unusual birth and upbringing marked him as an outsider. From what I understand about the principle enantiodromia, a lot of this principle can be found within the history and personality of this god. I wonder if the intentions behind the arrangements was to represent the thoughts and feelings of Dionysus. If so, it’s done impeccably well.
The chaos ends with Onward, Burning Radiance. Right down until the last track, the principle can be heard within the arrangements.
Enantiodromia is full of blistering guitar work, dominating shrieks, pounding bass lines, thunderous drums and grand sounding symphonies. After experiencing this record, you can expect a racing heart, a sore neck and an eager desire to undergo the pandemonium again. I will be keeping my eyes and ears out SERENE DARK after experiencing this fascinating record.
Words: Lotty Whittingham
Enantiodromia will be available this Friday.
Find SERENE DARK on Facebook.