Schammasch – Triangle (Prosthetic)

Friday, 29th April 2016
Rating: 8.5/10

The question sometimes arises, how do you follow-up a double-album release? Well, in the case of Schammasch you dig even deeper and come back with a triple-album. The aptly named Triangle is no mere gimmick. Containing three varied albums (truly the only way to approach something this massive), each has its own feelings and sound. For a forward-thinking band such as Schammasch this isn’t so difficult to do, and by keeping to a shorter length on each album (33:30), the whole process is much more digestible than you’d imagine.

The first disc, Part I: The Process of Dying, will be the most familiar sounding to those who have experienced Schammasch, with Contradiction in particular as a reference point. Dissonance, melody, and doom provide the backdrop for this blackened band to really spread their wings even further than before, while keeping an identity that feels more like a logical progression. There’s an almost ritualistic feel to some of the music, with bleak and angular guitarwork bringing things into atmospheric territory that is complete with chanting (see “Consensus”).

Next up is Part II: Metaflesh, an album that ramps up the doom, progressive elements, and clean vocals. Blast beats still persist, but the overall pacing is more deliberate and lurking in tone. The highlight (perhaps of the entire album trilogy) has to be “Metanoia,” which uses some quasi-clean vocals atop blasts and a dreamy atmosphere. It’s an intoxicating track that builds as it goes, with a well-executed solo and tribal drumming all before the track’s completion. The ending track, “Conclusion,” is a calm and serene acoustic track that finishes things on a high note and sets the mood for what is to come on the third album.

The last third, Part III: The Supernatural Clear Light of the Void, is where things really veer off the beaten path. Fully embracing a more ambient and post-metal vibe, it’s more mellow and trippy in tone than the previous two albums. Highly experimental, fading in and out, haunting atmospheres, and dreary landscapes paint an image that that can be just as ominous and sinister as the other albums, but finds an interesting and outside the box way of doing so. An unexpected yet quite enjoyable way to bring things to a close.

Ambitious yet grounded, Triangle goes in several directions but finds itself connecting in ways you might not initially think. A clear case for the “metal as art” category, those looking for something extraordinary in their metal should check this one out.

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