Metaconquerer – Of Steel, Bone, and Fire CD

2 August 2011 xdementia No Comment

Metaconquerer – Of Steel, Bone, and Fire CD

Syzmic Records

Metaconquerer is the solo project of John Stillings who is also one half of the power electronics unit Steel Hook Prostheses. With Metaconquerer Stillings focuses on a more minimalist atmospheric sound, yet there are still plenty of industrial elements at play on Of Steel, Bone, and Fire. This is a record that is as black as the darkest night, perhaps a perfect soundtrack for a satanic mass, and it may just be Metaconquerer’s strongest effort to date.

Most recognizable is the airy low drones that pervade almost each and every track. They slither, slime, and creep into my psyche easily unnerving me while preparing me for the additional elements that Metaconquerer employs. Among these elements perhaps the most successful and intense are the affected vocals. Heavy flanger and pitch shifters cover the voice – which usually stands well-out in front of the mix – to form an engaging and tantalizing characteristic to these tracks.

Aside from the excellent vocals, the additional elements that are added to the drones consist of seething noise, slow distorted rhythms, and plenty of heavy metallic sounds shuffling, and scraping at the edges of sanity. All of these strike me as being more prominent, well produced and composed with each track than the previous Metaconquerer releases seemed to be. Perhaps the only out of place sound I heard was the seemingly random guitar at the tail end of The Stone House Unheard which kind of just popped out of nowhere. Luckily the follow-up track The Pauper’s Grave goes right back into an excellent mix of low, converging layers that create an air that is devoid of all hope.

From the cover art, the song titles, and finally to the intense and dark sounds this strikes me as some intensely satanic music. Perhaps excising the innermost demons from Stillings, or more likely calling them back from the underworld. This album is depressing, it fills me with emptiness and finally leads me into the sublime.

Composition: ★★★★☆
Sounds: ★★★★☆
Production Quality: ★★★★☆
Concept: ★★★★☆
Packaging: ★★★☆☆
Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

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