Metal Hammer (UK)

SCHAMMASCH

Hearts Of No Light PROSTHETIC

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Switzerlan­d’s sonic adventurer­s reach a scintillat­ing new peak

Schammasch mastermind

c.s.r’s vision for the band has always been of biblical proportion­s, presenting their high-concept, Babylonian black metal in ever more sonically and visually ambitious forms that culminated with 2016’s epic Triangle – almost two hours of music across three discs. For album four, the Swiss have recruited a fourth member, guitarist J.B, to swell their wall of sound to even more massive proportion­s, but with a more honed style.

Hearts Of No Light

contains 68 minutes of music – conservati­ve by their standards, but no less abominable in vision and execution. If anything, the sense of impending apocalypse they create is their most focused and impactful yet. Winds That Pierce The Silence, after a beautifull­y melodramat­ic opening piece by classical pianist Lillian Liu, is an early showcase of their ability to create sacrosanct atmosphere­s and a spiralling sense of escalating tension. Their hook-laden but rapacious black metal explodes at its apex, in glorious release. Ego Sum Omega

holds sway with godlike supremacy, its breathtaki­ng, punching riffs laying impermeabl­e foundation­s for C.S.R’S omniscient­ly detached bellow. It’s at its most exultant on album centrepiec­e

Rays Like Razors, a track fervent in its blasting and imperious in its central mantra: ‘These fires beyond death will never rise again.’ A Paradigm Of Beauty proves quite the break from their norm of atmospheri­c build and cataclysmi­c release – the closest you’ll get to hearing a black metal ballad with its straight groove, pealing solo and heart-rending paean. Katabasis returns savagery to the fore before 15-minute closer Innermost, Lowermost Abyss descends ambiently into oblivion.

If Triangle was a display of Schammasch’s ambitions more than a convincing example of their ability to deliver consistent engagement, Hearts Of No Light does just that, cutting the aimless experiment­ation for an incisive incarnatio­n of their blazing vision. ■■■■■■■■■■

FOR FANS OF: Behemoth, Batushka, Triptykon

TOM O’BOYLE

 ??  ?? Schammasch suggest it’s curtains for mankind
Schammasch suggest it’s curtains for mankind
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