This is the third album from Vessel of Iniquity, a black metal solo act from the UK.
Lasting a brief, yet scarring, 30 minutes, The Path Unseen is a horrific nightmarescape of industrial black metal, replete with harsh noise and terrifying atmosphere. Having enjoyed/weathered the artist’s 2021 split with Thecodontion, I was looking forward to hearing more and The Path Unseen has not disappointed.
The music is oppressive and ultra dark. Harsh noise and cold, uncaring industrial elements are firmly embedded, while death metal and grindcore assaults pepper the music like nail bombs. Claustrophobic whispers and other atmospheric enrichments enhance the grim moods further, making an unsettling listening experience even more unnerving.
The songs are ferocious and corrupt. The abyssal depths of the music are always felt, but rarely seen. When they’re blisteringly fast they’re hypnotic with a sort of withering drone aggression. When slow they’re life-draining, pummelling with noise-spiked doom that shatters your defences and leaves you broken. This is not music for the uninitiated, and these songs are unfriendly and warped; they feel like they can contaminate by mere virtue of their foul presence.
The Path Unseen is a ravenous vortex of malevolent hunger that wants to swallow the light and destroy everything. It’s a collection of hideous intensity wrapped in darkness and covered in serrated hatred. It’s resolutely not for the faint of heart, but if you survive its otherworldly attentions then it has such sights to show you.