Monday 20 November 2017

Review: The Stone - Teatar Apsurda

December 9th marks the release of eighth studio album by Serbian black metal act The Stone titled "Teatar Apsurda." Despite the three-year gap since their last album, 2014’s monstrous "Nekroza," one listen should be all it takes to convince you that The Stone are still as utterly merciless and inhumanly intense as ever. And with the drum throne for this album filled by producer Hanza Kapak, it should come as no surprise to learn that the level of blastronomic engorgement remains brutally extreme throughout.

At only seven songs and just over forty-eight minutes long, "Teatar Apsurda" is one lean, mean, murder-machine of an album, with occasional moments of ominous, oppressive calm to provide respite from the roiling, boiling chaos.

Songs like “Mrtvog Negativ” and the pulverising title-track, for example, literally pulsate with dark intent, a veritable orgy of ravenous riffs blazing like black flame over the top of Kapak’s tooth-rattling drumming, while the seven-minute “Moj Grob,” which translates to “my grave,” is one unrelentingly grim and uncompromising slab of pure sonic savagery and vitriol, the torrent of lunatic blastery.

Unsurprisingly, every single track on "Teatar Apsurda" is an absolutely monstrous affair. Whether it’s the surging, scything riffery of the opener “Gavranovo” and “Nuklearan”, or the sadistic grooves and apoplectic intensity of the climatic “Ja, Car I Bog”, the band never scrimp on the extremity, and it’s probably worth recommending that this album be kept well away from pregnant women and the elderly, as Nefas’ vocals alone are practically capable of stripping paint from a hundred yards, so I shudder to think what horrors they’d inflict upon the unborn.

"Teatar Apsurda" is an album dedicated solely to reasserting the band’s own superiority and to refining the purity of their blood-soaked and blasphemous vision.

Trust me on this. I’ve seen enough also-rans and never-weres in my time, the endless parade of bands who may have the aesthetic and the basic sound of Black Metal down, but who are utterly hollow inside, without any true fire or darkness in their souls, to be able to tell pretty well whether a band truly have the right drive and the right passion, or whether they’re simply going through the motions.

And The Stone are as real, and as remorseless, in their pursuit of blackened perfection as they come.

"Teatar Apsurda" is released December 9th via Mizantropeon Records. Pre-order it here. Listen to the title song taken from the upcoming album below.

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