In the previous post you can read about the mysterious package I got from an unknown sender, containing several Finnish promo albums, EPs, etc. The second one in this package was the new album by Mormânt de Snagov, a Finnish black metal band, from Turku. Depths Below Space and Existence is their third album, the album was released on 16 February by Pest Records. The latter one describes Mormânt de Snagov as a black metal band with influences of death metal, infused with keyboards as well as having hints of jazz music.
Before I usually read about the band or even listen to it, I look attentively to the album art, trying to figure out what kind of music the band plays from the art. I can honestly say that I didn’t expect the band to play progressive black metal by looking at Depths Below Space and Existence. Truth be told, I was expecting some gothic rock, or perhaps even the new HIM. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
“Resist,” which was also released through a music video, is probably one of the shortest songs on the album, but it’s truly explosive. The song reminds of the typical 90s black metal, but interestingly also has influences from thrash in the mix. The vocals also add up to the rhythm of the song, which makes the whole flow of the song more compelling. “Resist” definitely is one of the highlights of the album. But there are plenty other moments that are intriguing. With its 9 minutes “Stories Untold” is the longest song, but also contains plenty of winks to other genres, it’s in this song that the reference to smooth jazz music can be made, especially in the bass line, which makes this album so interesting.
Mormânt de Snagov have a real talent for song writing, the songs have so many layers and you can listen to them in so many ways, the flow of each song is excellent. The album for example ends in the same way it starts, which is clear when you – like me – put it on repeat for several times, to dive into the music. This is very progressive and also shows how small details can be of utter most importance. The typical black metal riffs create a specific atmosphere, that drives the songs further, and even though the album, like in most black metal, contains a lot of blast beats, the drums are excellent, tight and super fast, with a surprising amount of variations put into the rhythms.
The more you keep listening to the album, the more you discover, the more you get interested. Personal highlights of this album are “Resist,” “Stories Untold,” and “Writhe Infinite.” Vocals are grim, but have a really nice flow to them, especially when it comes to how rhythmic the vocals are. Most of the tracks are very long in length, jazz isn’t a stranger to incorporate into their music, which makes most of the songs unique and very progressive. I sense a subtle reference to doom metal and black metal as well.
Even though I personally don’t listen a lot anymore to these kinds of genres, if you like technical black metal, that sounds very progressive in its purpose, then definitely give Mormânt de Snagov a go. The album is never boring, it progresses smoothly with the most intriguing flow to it, the band juxtaposes a lot of different genres and ideas next to each other, which provides the listener a lot of interesting contrasts and surprises.
1. Mentor Deceived
2. Never Speak Aloud
4. Stories Untold
5. Battle Neverending
6. You’re Next
7. Writhe Infinite
8. The Roots of Grief
M. Lehtivuori – vocals and guitar
S. Haapanen – guitars and backing vocals
P. Venho – bass
P. Jokela – drums