Buffalo black metallers, Enthauptung, tend to refer to themselves as being “a dark and aggressive blend of misery and nostalgia”. Their latest release, Adirondack, to be released on Saturday, November 21 within the confines of a grain silo, is no exception to the morbid, yet captivating description, the band chooses to represent themselves with. In typical Enthauptung fashion, after having already been assaulted by their last release, A Forming Void, Adirondack is a 6 track epic that keeps you spellbound with anticipation from start to finish. With song lengths ranging from 9-13 minutes (excluding the intro track, “Earth Divider” and the instrumental segway, “Old Growth”), there’s no letup in sight, but also, no boredom to be found at any point. When you try to imagine the overall feel of this release, try to imagine a combination of what Emperor accomplished on In the Nightside Eclipse and what Darkthrone belted out on A Blaze in the Northern Sky. I also hear a little of Mayhem’s Dawn of the Black Hearts.
From the very beginning of the opening track, “Earth Divider”, you are drawn in by the natural chilling sounds of a deep dark forest, followed by a single guitar, tremolo picking eerie chords with just the right hint of chorus effect. Suddenly, a symphonic edge takes over, giving way to a grueling distorted tremolo riff and punishing blasts beats. Then again, without warning, it all gives way to a crushing chord progression with dramatic crash hits, providing the perfect transition into the first full song, “Summoning Ancients”. More evil riffing and blasting follows, a subtly creepy reverb tone on the guitar lead, until Enthauptung’s classic black metal vocals, rasps, grunts and all, finally grace your ears. Vocally, this album is the perfect conveyance of deep cold and Northern darkness by way of a human voice; the way all black metal vocals should be. About halfway through, an entrancing doom section enters the mix with a slightly melodic edge on the guitars, but it all holds true to the black metal formula with evil tones, foreboding breaks and a tasteful use of feedback.
“The Groan of Pines” is the next installment in this dismal affair, relentlessly bombarding you with orchestral like movements of demonic riffing, impressive blast beats and an even more diverse vocal range. When the dust settles, it’s on to a very fitting instrumental called “Old Growth” which I won’t spoil for you. Just know that it’s very elegant and does its job in preparing you for the inevitably destructive conclusion presented by the final 2 tracks. The song, “Petrichor” picks things up right where “The Groan of Pines” left off. This track made me think about how truly black metal the overall production on the album is, while at the same time, it’s extremely well balanced throughout. You’re not just sifting through delicious wads of black metal dirt and grit, whilst struggling to reattach your jaw to the rest of your skull.
Then, finally, as if you haven’t already been beaten, bloodied and bashed enough, the title track, “Adirondack” concludes the album. In my opinion, this is the best guitar song in the bunch. Great harmonized leads tantalize you throughout the core of the song, while overall, the riffs, vocals, drums and dominant melodies combine great vibes of harsh Northern winters, death, destruction and even some hints of the science fiction movie soundtracks of the ’70s and ’80s.
Long story short, if you like this kind of metal, don’t act like you didn’t read this and miss out on another great opportunity to improve upon your music library. In the WNY area? Here’s what you need to know about the release party:
For more information about this event, join the event page by clicking here.