Chuck Schuldiner Project

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Belus - Apophenia

There is something endlessly fascinating to me about the power of Brooklyn black metal, I've lived here for most of my adult life at this point and it's a place that breeds a unique type of bitterness. It's the sort of place where you find yourself incredibly bitter, not because there aren't cool people, but because there's countless fucking hipsters. It leads to this sort of weird sense of disgust that I think drives a lot of the underground music here. The demented majesty of this latest offering from black metal titans Belus, Apophenia only seems to feed into the hyper intellectualized misery of the city.

Belus's music is firmly entrenched in second wave of black metal mastery. The mid 90s Norwegian stuff seems to have a big influence here. The big push though seems to be songwriting. From back to front Apophenia has the sort of top down vision that makes black metal such a valuable thing in the first place. Rather than falling victim to tired tropes, Belus is able to take those tropes and involve them into something greater. There is a strange sense of transcendence to the hyper speed chords here and the almost washed out black metal vocals resonating across the twisted sonic hellscape painted before us. 

Though the band has been around in some form or another for seven years this record is their full length and it sees the group moving well past a lot of their previous limitations. Whereas on shorter formats they didn't always have a chance for the music to properly breathe, Apophenia sees fully developed musical ideas coming to fruition and tasty licks falling like apples from a tree. Belus have the sort of all encompassing knowledge of black metal it takes to craft something truly grand and I can't help but to love it. 

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