Daniël : In times of technological innovation and new discoveries in cosmology, attention for the universe grows. The thematising of Space – especially as being grim and colossal – turns out to be of interest to extreme metal bands as well. We see the rise of ‘atmospheric space black metal’ (Midnight Odyssey and Darkspace, among others) and the exploitation of the subject by galactic deathcore band Rings Of Saturn. A little while ago I wrote a review for Chaos Plague’s ‘Existence Through Annihilation’, which touched upon the issue from the perspective of death metal, as Obscura has done over its entire discography (especially on ‘Cosmogenesis’ and ‘Omnivium’). The more attention a subject receives, the harder it will be of a task to try and bring innovation to the field. This, however, is what Dysylumn bravely does on ‘Conceptarium’ (September 2015). Born from Sébastien Besson’s frustrations over the loss of a loved one, the dark progressive death metal band saw the light in 2010. Five years later, Besson (guitars, bass, vocals), accompanied by drummer Camille Olivier Faure-Brac, finishes work on the debut.
It takes the French duo some time to get things going. Although ‘Vide Spatial’ instantly sets the grim tone – a tone reminiscent of Death’s ‘Cosmic Sea’, which evolves into a heavier tone, similar to Obscura’s ‘Ocean Gateways’ (pun not intended!) –, it sound to me a bit too heavy, too repetitive. As ‘Cauchemar’ however frees itself from the pounding introduction, something truly interesting happens. The somewhat holding-back death metal evolves into a series of blast beats. Be that as it may, the tempo across the album remains surprisingly low, and does remind of the reintroduction of old school death metal Disma represented on ‘Towards The Megalith’.
The record does however not lend itself for description in death metal concepts alone. There is an even more grim, unstoppable force hidden in the black hole this album tends to be. It is like the acceleration you experience when being sucked into the depths of an ocean or other. Though such explosions are rare, they are elements of a game-changing and returning importance. They sound like the dim black metal of Deathspell Omega on ‘Si Monumentum Requires, Circumspice’, and the similarly blurred black/death metal of Diocletian’s ‘Gesundrian’, though at half of the speed.
This album is a blackened pearl of progressive death metal, even though it sometimes is a bit repetitive and takes time to gain momentum. This debut is promising for the future!