[colored_box color=”grey”]Rating: 9
Label: Agonia Records
Website: Link
Author: Victoria Rullman

Plainly stated, IV: An Arrow in Heart has captured a sound that is gloriously cacophonous but still painfully musical. With a hazy backdrop of white noise, French black metal band Aosoth channels a primitive tone that is unrelenting, but skillfully intertwined with inconspicuous lines of melody. The melodic portions are just as crucial and prevalent as the dissonant ones and they work together to make the album appealing but unsettling.

Ignoring cues from fellow French bands, Aosoth has not bothered to follow in the footsteps of Deathspell Omega, Anorexia Nervosa, or Blut Aus Nord. Their sound is entirely their own, and each musician does a spectacular job in their department. Vocalist MkM, bassist Inrvi, and guitarist and drummer Bst are all extremely talented and mesh together well.

In fact, every part of the band melds together to form an intimidating wall of sound; MkM’s coarse rasps stand out, torturous and evil, amongst the heavy hitting bass and the chaotic progression of the guitars. The drums are as tight as ever, providing a primal and daunting backbone for the album. Raw instrumentation layered atop the guttural vocals give the music its own atmosphere and feel, but it is helped along by the grace of glorious production. The quality is not perfect, which is what makes the album so beautiful. Maintaining fuzzy recording quality makes this release gritty without omitting any facet of the band. Every part is evident because of the superb mixing.

Throughout this unrelenting album, these Parisians prove to be captivating. They do not conform to a homogenous sound but, rather, play music that is uniquely their own. To an extent, this album could be considered an avant-garde or experimental work, but then the listener would seem to be missing something. IV: An Arrow in Heart is black metal at its core, with the covert incorporation of more melodic elements to make it stand apart from other releases. Aosoth has produced something that is likeable and enjoyable, as well as memorable.

Album highlights: An Arrow in Heart, Under Nails and Fingertips, Broken Dialogue 2

Track List Line Up
01. An Arrow in Heart
02. One with the Prince with a Thousand Enemies
03. Temple of Knowledge
04. Under the Nails and Fingertips
05. Broken Dialogue 1
06. Broken Dialogue 2
07. Ritual Marks of Penitence
MkM – Vocals
Bst – Guitars/Drums
Inrvi – Bass