PICK OF THE WEEK: Indesinence’s strange doom and death metal expand further on wondrous ‘III’

IndesinenceSlipping into the murk of dreams is one of the reasons I look forward to going to sleep each night. Your brain telling you stories based on your thoughts and experiences is a strange way to spend several hours every day, but it’s something I anticipate greatly because there’s no way to predict what will happen. And it’s going on in my very head.

I relish in taking on music from UK doom/death leviathans Indesinence for the similar reasons as why I count down to my slumber. Their long, elegant, dramatic passages make me think of a perfect soundtrack to what could be roiling in my brain when I am dreaming, especially if the visions are dark and foreboding. Over the course of three records and a decade and a half together, Indesinence have grabbed me by the hand—not unlike the way the hooded figure on their 2012 gem “Vessels of Light and Decay” that invites that vulnerable child into a mystery lair—and pulled me into their world. Their new record, the gargantuan “III,” is their finest collection to date and a legitimate contender for best doom/death album of the year. They unravel greater, more expansive adventures, they mix mystery and texture into their grandiose compositions, and they capture the imagination in a way few others can. The fact this band isn’t yet deemed doom and death royalty is an indefensible crime, though hopefully “III” changes that.

Indesinence coverThis massive, world-toppling band is comprised of three players, with Ilia Rodriguez (Binah) on guitars and vocals; Andy McIvor (also of Binah, as well as Code and Blutvial) on bass; and Paul Westwood (Fen, Landskap) on drums. The band’s ambitions always have been huge, but on “III,” the trio climbs to its highest peak yet. Over the course of seven tracks and 70 minutes, Indesinence create worlds of shadowy wonder, death-like mystery, and astonishing adventure. While the songs are unquestionably heavy and seeped in death and doom, there also is plenty of melody and colorful twists and turns that add even more substance to their already rich sounds. If you commit, you might find yourself lost in the middle of this journey, unable to see the beginning or end, and riding on the waves to wherever fate takes you.

“Seashore Eternal” begins the record (there certainly is a nautical feel on much of this album), a slow-driving intro piece that picks up steam as it goes, hammering away and establishing a thick atmosphere. Then it’s into “Nostalgia,” a cut that starts with Rodriguez wailing, “It breeds deep inside, every season, every night,” as guitars begin to soar and the entire piece swells with power. The melodies are thick, jarring, and strong, with lush arrangements arriving to provide some air, and then it’s into a dreamy death sequence that continues to pound at the corrosion done by memories and feelings. The tides get a little proggy, sections crush and pummel like the planet’s four corners collapsing, and sorrowful playing takes the song to its sunset. “Embryo Limbo” then settles in, with clean guitars washing over, hitting on gushing energy, and thriving on slowly meted out drubbing that gets quite the musical sheen over top. As you delve deeper into the song, the track really opens up and gets heavier, twisting, and morphing around you, tearing through sinewy muscle, and finally fading into a mystical finish that feels like cold mist on your face.

“Desert Trail” comes up next and parches your throat with unforgiving heat and a journey into the void. Pianos drip over the surface and open into sorrowful melodies and lurching doom. While sheets of mystery rain down, the band chugs and grinds through the sands, dragging you into heavy, chunky terrain before it hammers shut and is swept off in the winds. “Mountains of Mind” is the first serving of a 15:15-long epic that is absolutely enthralling. It starts slow-clubbing and mucky, with melodies slithering and the guys taking time to unfurl their majesty. The song gets heavier and heavier as it builds, smothering and weavings its tales, and eventually it grows moody and psychedelic, with the vocals spilling out in whispers. The back end of the first half is thrashy and menacing and then … it spills into one of the most unexpected covers in some time, their excellent, post-punk-infused take on “Five Years Ahead (Of My Time),” a lost classic by The Third Bardo (released in 1967, which stands as their only single). The transition is seamless, fun even, and makes for the most surprising moment on this record. Then we approach deep water on “Strange Meridian,” a 17:30 trip over furious waves, murk, and an unknown destination. The vocals are more of a forceful yell, a doom-like presentation, and at times it feels unhinged and losing control. Organs sprawl in, warm guitars arise, and harsh vocals have their way, driving toward drenching melodies and a deeply involved, moving section of playing. The final moments enter a haze that is fluid and trance-inducing. The closing title cut is a partially ambient instrumental track, with each dreamy, strange sequence interrupted by a chime, almost as if it’s signaling you into new planes of consciousness. The track acts like a perfect sequence to bring you out of deep slumber, with laughter from a crowd, applause, and a slamming door jarring you awake, stuck to your sheets in sweat.

Undoubtedly you will go on a journey with Indesinence on “III,” their mightiest album to date. It also should be pointed out that while the band conjures vivid dream-state imagery, it’s rarely serene and without danger. Be it on land or on sea, conscious or deep in exploration in the back of the mind, the band is always churning, building new layers, and proving to be one of metal’s most peculiar storytellers. This is one of doom and death’s best, most daring artists, and it’s about time they get the respect and adulation they deserve. Otherwise, maybe they’ll snatch you into the night and immerse you in a world from which you’ll never return.

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/Indesinence

To buy the album, go here: https://www.profoundlorerecords.com/products-page/

For more on the label, go here: https://www.profoundlorerecords.com/

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