Mon 11th March 2013
My Dying Bride started their 1995 album The Angel and the Dark River with a song called The Cry of Mankind. It was an epic, 12-minute lament that brought out a single theme, one of loss. Dodsferd, on the first track proper on their new album seem to have taken this blueprint and ran with it, creating a mid-paced black metal howl that reflects its title Days of Mental Deterioration. With vocals sounding like primal shrieks and raspings, the music has this heavy, weighed-down feel to it that drags you under almost immediately.
Dodsferd is one man, really, Wrath has had this 'band' together since 2001 and has worked with countless other Greek black metal musicians, including being part of the band Nadiwrath.
Members of Nadiwrath and other Greek black metal bands play on this release, but the music and lyrics are composed by Wrath himself. A nihilist in extremis, it seems the themes of loneliness, loss and misanthropy are all present and correct. But this is no black metal cliche bingo card filling up, rather an album which strikes at the heart of what makes the genre great. There's lengthy sections of droning and ambience, guitar laced with infinite reverb and harrowing electronics grabbing your attention between tracks, which rumble by with a sense of dread.
A Breed of Parasites is full of invention and is alarmingly disparate, sounds not normally found within the genre are here in spades. Scraping metal noises, loops of low droning and flecks of static appear within the midst of the black metal storm and it's pretty inspirational.
Post-metal influences even creep in on album closerBurning The Symbols of Your God giving it a modern, sleek feel amongst the cold and frightening genre tropes. Vocals in particular retain the primal and primitive feel of the music, jarring but somehow sitting comfortably with the Neurosis-esque sections well.
A dizzying and unexpected release then, and one that will no doubt draw you in again and again if only to work out what is happening.