So, here’s one that intrigued me form the start with its unusual album artwork. But wait, there’s more to why this grabbed my attention; this is an album that the promo blurb describes as a mix of black-metal, post-metal, and grindcore. It also recommends Charogne for fans of Wake, Calligram, Cult of Luna, and Ulcerate. More and more intriguing, thought I. And then, upon discovery that the album consists of one single 43-minute track, I was sold, and knew I had to check out what Icare have to offer.
Charogne is a dynamic beast. It ranges from brutal grinding insanity to fragile ephemeral beauty, with much ground covered in between. The track spans everything from modern black metal fury to post-metal mood-building. Moments of brutal violence give way to thoughtful introspection or resplendent beauty, for example; or the other way around, sometimes at a moment’s notice.
The song is a vast and textured composition that’s immersive and engaging. The band’s use of dark melody is well-judged, and the lengthy song moves from section to section with sinuous fluidity and a strong sense of careful continuity-yet-development. The music is atmospheric and expressive, owing much to both the atmospheric black metal and the apocalyptic post-metal styles. Also, occasionally the band just sink deep into a killer riff and squeeze it for all its worth.
Icare’s post-blackened sound covers the Cult of Luna angle in its slower, moodier aspects, (Amenra should also be mentioned here). Bands like Wake, Calligram, and Full of Hell can be referenced due to the harsh malevolent side of the music’s nature. The raw dissonant aggression and dark atmospheres bring to mind acts such as Ulcerate and Deathspell Omega. The band’s approach to modern/post-black metal shimmers with emotive intensity, reminding me of a band like Nullingroots. The vocals are primarily harsh shouts of a hardcore/post-metal nature. All of the above is then smashed together, cloaked in blackened darkness, and left to rot in an atmospheric pool of its own grim creation.
Icare have produced a post-black metal soundscape of epic proportions. This is an album to absorb over time; it’s worth getting to grips with Charogne, as it has much to offer the discerning listener within its dark depths.
Very highly recommended.