Bexadde delivers 44 minutes of black metal across four lengthy nightmarescapes. Blending atmospheric components into a post-blackened framework, Toadeater’s music is compelling and satisfying.
Toadeater immerse the listener in an atmospheric darkness that’s all-encompassing. Combining dissonant, emotive, and melodic components into music that flows like a sinuous malevolent entity uncoiling, these songs wax and wane with vibrant menace. The music shares commonalities with the depressive black metal and blackgaze styles, but doesn’t entirely fall into either camp. If you mix different parts together from bands such as Wolves in the Throne Room, Der Weg Einer Freiheit, Lamp of Murmuur, Harakiri for the Sky, Mayhem, and Deafheaven, you’ll have a rough, albeit incomplete, idea of what to expect from Toadeater.
Bexadde is raw and harsh, but not to the music’s detriment. It sounds powerful and strong, yet still grounded with an earthy aspect that allows the music to be approachable despite its cruel veneer. Toadeater are weavers of stories, and each song carries the listener on waves of blackness through a journey of musical narration that’s effortlessly engaging. The melodies deployed have obviously had some considerable attention paid to them, and some of them tell an entire tale of woe just by themselves.
The focus is mainly on mood and atmosphere, but that doesn’t mean that the band miss an opportunity to tear out a prime blackened riff when it presents itself. Almost every song has a handful of these that just cry out for attention, which you should rightfully give them.
The main vocals wail and scream like a tormented daemon, and the singer’s performance is varied and impassioned. I prefer the harsher styles to the more pained variety, but there’s no denying their presence regardless. Occasionally we get clean vocals that are Gothic in delivery; these augment the music with extra layers of feeling quite effectively.
On Bexadde Toadeater have crafted four dark soundscapes of affecting blackened emotion. The album is satisfying, enjoyable, and easy to fall for.
Don’t miss out on this. Very highly recommended for all fans of mood-focused black metal.