Misanthropocene is an interesting and engaging album that offers the listener a modern and layered interpretation of black metal. The style is rooted in the atmospheric one, but also takes in elements of the melodic, avant-garde, and post-black metal strains in various places, as well as some non-black metal styles. The end result is an ambitious, richly varied album that has many twists and turns for the listener to explore across its 61-minute running time.
Klamm are not a band who mindlessly copy what’s come before them, and Misanthropocene ably puts forward their compelling dystopian vision of what multifaceted black metal should sound like. Within this album you’ll find a great deal of different influences and ideas at play. Misanthropocene is not lacking in creativity, but thankfully nor is it lacking in the quality needed to make the most of this.
A plethora of inventive songwriting ties these sometimes lengthy songs together, and it’s clear that a lot of love, care, and attention has gone into this collection of tracks. Each song has its own personality, but is tied together into a holistic picture that forms a great tapestry of extreme metal art.
Some of the riffs on here are striking, grabbing you instantly the first time you hear them, and only further sinking their claws into you as time goes by. There’s a hard rock influence here that I can’t escape hearing, and this is part of the reason why parts of this release are surprisingly catchy, ridiculously so sometimes. Many of the rhythm guitars are quite exceptional in this regard.
There are plenty of lighter and emotive parts, with the band’s ability to oscillate from blackened aggression to doom metal soundscapes with fluid ease is very well-developed. Klamm build atmosphere and mood with deft skill, and pepper this with aggressive tendencies and more creative nuances during one song than many bands manage in an entire career. Klamm’s music is enthralling and captivating.
Clean singing, aggressive screams, brutal growls, the album has it all on the vocal front too. Combine this and the rich music with a textured and effective recording, and you have a very enjoyable, satisfying, and rewarding album.
Misanthropocene is an essential listen for any fan of modern black metal.