Very unorthodox but effective one-man SDBM from Russia. I am reminded of Vinterriket, Skepticism, and Summoning. Not necessarily in style, but in feel and approach. Much like those bands, Annorkoth achieves a unique vibe through unconventional production. A mysterious and unearthly vibe where the instruments seem to exist on different plains, giving the songs layers within themselves, dynamics within dynamics. It’s certainly an odd mix, but I’d assume it’s intentional and it definitely works. The vocals and drums are buried faintly in the mix, while the keyboards, cymbals, and guitars are mastered so high they make the speakers pop like a campfire. The keyboard might play the most prominent role of all the instruments. I wouldn’t be surprised if the songs were built around them. The harshest thing I can say is that the drum programming leaves a little to be desired. And on the off chance that main man B.M. is playing real drums, he sounds a lot like a badly programmed drum machine. But the atmosphere saves the album. It’s damn hard to deny the somber, mournful elegance of “The Mysteries of Winter Forest,” the suicidal Waltz of “The Last Chance to Escape,” the total Burzum worship of the aptly titled “Shades of Misanthropy,” the gentle blasting of “Autumnal Remembrance,” or the beautiful clean guitar passage of instrumental “Dawn.” He even wrote a song about me (“An Insignificant Life”). There are moments of mind-wandering boredom, but they’re few and far between. At his best, B.M. invokes feelings of dejected misery through moments of epic majesty. Proving there is more than one way to cut a wrist.
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