Schammasch
Contradiction

So, if like me you were underwhelmed by the last Triptykon record, here is another Swiss metal act to fulfill your needs for controlled, slower, moody and progressive dark metal that is a real undiscovered gem in 2014s metal releases.

Contradiction is Schammasch’s second album albeit my first introduction to this trio, but it won’t be my last. They play a sort of philosophical, ritualistic, dark and menacing form of black-ish metal that heaves and lurches with a regal but shadowy aura. Fans of latter Secrets of the Moon, the aforementioned Triptykon, Lurk Weapon  and even the new Behemoth should certainly find somersetting to like here.

While certainly falling under the black metal umbrella, there’s all sorts of great stuff going on here from doom, death and just dark foreboding metal in general. Frontman C.S.R uses a number of vocal deliveries from deep whispers and gravelly chants and expected growls and roars while the guitars sway and crunch with hypnotic menace. The songs are by no means quick hitters either  as other then short interlude “Crown” these tracks unfurl and unwind with careful, lengthy precision in the 6- 17 minute range, resulting in almost an hour and a half of enthralling music split up over two CDs that requires a patient and committed listener.

The opening title track is one such number clocking in at over 10 minutes with a plethora of crumbling ebbs and flows, atmospherics and some flourishes of  restrained blackened extremity. Second track, “Split My Tongue” starts with similar twisty menace before a halfway point explosion of very impressive black metal, where the newer Behemoth reference seems to bubble to the surface and closes out with hymnal choirs. “Provoking Spiritual Collapse” is a perfectly paced number as rather than a slow build or lull, it gets right to it, awakening the listener somewhat from the first two tracks immense, but admittedly lengthy throes with  Then “Until the Poison Devours Us” follow suite with a doomy, heaving crunch and build laced with ambiance before yet another blackened salvo. “Crown” closes out disc 1, and in itself, it’s a fine 37 minute album that could stand alone, but Schammasch throw in a second 46 minute disc  of the same style.

The 13 minute “The Inner World” starts the albums second stanza and it heralds that the second disc isn’t a throwaway or different style or filler, but continues the excellent, rangy quality laid forth before it on disc 1. “Serpent Silence” starts as a slower more atmospheric, 8 minute track  but delivers a nice jarring expulsion of death metal about 2 and a half minutes in and settles into  a ritualistic, groan and whisper laden diatribe. I have to admit, by the time the hymnal crunch of  “Golden Light” and simply monolithic doom crawl of 17 minute closer “JHWH” slink into view, I am a bit worn out with the album, despite it often stunning quality, but I’m simply drained at this point.

Despite being a truly exhaustive listen (at least in one sitting), Prosthetic Records has real find here, I just wished it had been promoted better here in the US.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
September 30th, 2014

Comments

  1. Commented by: thatguy

    Ascension would be the band this most reminds me of,but the songwriting elevated it above mere clones.their first CD was masterful as well.


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