Emptiness
Error

I’ve been struggling with this review for several weeks now. On one hand I feel its  typically strong Dark Descent release that adds another quality act and release to their excellent roster. But on the other hand, it’s a strange record that struggles with influences, identity and consistency.

Notably featuring members of Belgian black metal stalwarts Enthroned, Error has some occult, doomy and contorted black metal elements and structures with a patient restrained but discordant plod for much of its duration. But there’s also some earthy grooves and marches as well as some deep cavernous vocals that all come together to form something more like country mates Caducity or neighbors Stentorian tripping balls on LSD while listening to Secrets of the Moon (the opening strains of album opener “Deafer” really hit this home with me).

Still, Error is if anything, a very interesting listen that’ hard to label or pigeonhole. Its’ got a great slithering, loping mood and the guitar tone has a nice rumble and crunch when delivering one of the groovier moments. It’s when the band take things into a more experimental and atonal lurch where they lose me a bit. For example, the noisy middle couple of minutes of the otherwise enjoyable title track is a complete waste of time.  That’s a lot of dichotomy on only the albums first 2 tracks.

“It and I” further highlights the albums disjointed nature as it starts with thick lurch and deep bellowed spoken words returning the band to more enjoyable pastures, but scatters some screeches and discordant tremolo picked, ritualistic injections that derail an other wise sturdy track. “Worst” goes straight for the weirdness with deep bellows and disjointed, fractured riffs but does transition into a big beefy doom riff, which is then again interrupted by sort Deathspell Omega-ish expulsions. “Dissolution”, the albums best track is also one of the shortest, its got a nice direct staggering riff and almost epic, but short lived climax. “Not Enough” is a short, jarring almost industrial number that has me reaching for the ‘skip’ button to the gravelly groove and bluster of “Low”. “Nothing” is a penultimate interlude of noise and whispering before “No Earth” ends the album and almost brings everything together into something vaguely cohesive and consistent with a last couple of tantalizing minutes that borders on special.

If this review seems disjointed, it is. I write my reviews while listening to the album in question and Error has me flummoxed,  affected my writing with its fractured and splintered style. And even after writing the review, despite the album’s strangely eclectic allure and occasional mind warping excellence,  I can’t decide if I truly like it or not. It’s not an easy, listen in a car, easily digestible album. It’s challenging, uncomfortable and hard to categorize, but has this undulating brilliance at times that make you come back for one one listen to see if it clicks. I”m still waiting for that moment, but look forward to getting to that point.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
July 9th, 2012

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