Leviathan – Scar Sighted
Profound Lore Records, March 2015
When it comes to one man black metal acts of note, few have touched the cult following garnered by Wrest’s musical monstrosity, Leviathan. Be it his sleuth of lo-fi black metal demo’s or his strictly dark ambient work in Silhouette In Splinters, Wrest has poured forth terrifying soundscapes that have always effectively reflected a strong sense of sincerity. When this sincerity is pondered in context to the material, it is all that more frightening.
With Leviathan’s newest effort, Scar Sighted we’re not shorted one ounce of such, yet also manage to receive so much more. We see a continuation of Wrest’s stray from his norm that was noticeable in 2011’s True Traitor, True Whore. Where that record occasionally struggled in conjoining gruesome visions with new musical ideas and lofty production goals, Scar Sighted succeeds and takes the next logical foot forward.
Everything within this album is very much an amalgamation of black / doom metal styling’s, and nothing is seen here (at a technical stand point) that the genres are not already acquainted with. That said, Leviathan MOST CERTAILY is experimenting with all of the things that the dark, extreme genres of metal are comprised of, using them for a fresh approach for what is candidly scary as hell. Between ghastly shrieks, ominous bellows and disjointed chants, Wrest is ensuring that the terrain is always fresh. This helps maintain the listener’s attention, and succeeds in capitalizing on built tension time and time again. The only way to avoid experiencing the full scale of this trip into mental depravity is to opt out altogether.
Eclectic but pertinent; massive but succinct, the variance put forth in this experience is on a grand scale. Every detailed notch in its frame is there for the same express purpose: creating pervasive feelings that will raise the hairs on your neck. Scar Sighted succeeds brilliantly in doing so. A shining example of high production value balanced correctly with grimy material to still create an organic and horrific sound; Leviathan has effectively delved deeper into the murk.
Rating – 9 out of 10
Seeing a vinyl release from new DEVOUT rcrds formed by front man Jef Whithead and his girlfriend Stevie Floyd(Dark Castle, Taurus)