MSW has been churning out funeral doom-laden bliss with his Hell project since 2008. Hell’s emphasis is guttural screaming hatred delivered at a glacial pace known as funeral doom. For the uninitiated, imaging having your soul wretched from every pore and hole in your body forming an apparition above you. At least that’s what I like to imagine when I’m putting away from groceries from a hipster fair trade store and feeling as bitter as the coffee I grind while imagining what life was like in an opium den. MSW’s vocals are screaming so visceral it has to leave this dude damn near voiceless by the end of each recording and performing session. Hell’s splits with Primitive Man, Mizmor, Hail, Amarok, Ancestortooth, and Thou each add a deeper sense of sinister act to his ever-growing soundscape. Outside of his Hell moniker MSW takes on much more heavenly neo-classical nature first seen in 2013’s Cloud : Musica Pro Lapsu. Gone from that release are the vocals drenched in the despair of a trillion suffering souls. Instead strings and piano give life to MSW’s all-encompassing plight. Obliviosus sees the two facets merging.
Sludge metal’s sound engulfing into a post-modern orchestra takes true form with MSW’s newest album Obliviosus. Taking the concept of catharsis to an unspoken place few dare to venture by infusing something rarely used in extreme metal, beautiful carnage. Opting away from working and recording alone, he has incorporated the angelic vocals of Karli Mcnutt and the gorgeous violin of Gina Eygenhuysen to create an enrapturing presence that eases you along until exploding with MSW’s shrieks and discord laden guitar. Never does anything feel like a musical jump scare though. Each scream, each guitar being played by what sounds like rusted metal, is paced along perfectly and earned. This is, to me, the album’s greatest achievement. It’s like a siren extending a hand and presenting enigmatic creatures you have no intention of wanting or being able to look away from. This is what I imagine when I’m collecting my paper bags for my recycling and making sure I’m properly hydrated. Because I’m just that intense.
The music of MSW hasn’t given up an ounce of heavy but with Obliviosus we the listeners have new dimension I’ve returned to over a dozen times now. Each listen adds new depth and I know it will continue to do so with each listen.
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