Amestigon- Thier (WTC Productions)

Weighty and atmospheric

Sometimes, the setting in which you consume music can have a drastic impact on how you perceive it. A cold, rainy day might make the melancholy of sad or slow music resonate a bit more deeply than trying to play it while DJing a rave, for example. But sometimes, a piece of music has the power to take you away to a setting of the artist’s choosing. Your emotional state doesn’t dictate the music you listen to, the music is instead dictating your emotional state.

Amestigon is an obscure Austrian project that surfaces very rarely every 5 or so years; prior to Thier, only one other album has been released with Amestigon’s name attached to it, 2010’s Sun of All Suns. However, the wait appears to be well worth it as Thier is a masterful display of melodic black metal stylings both old and new. The album starts off with Demiurg, and after repeated spins, I can definitely say it is the strongest song on the album as well as a good summation of what the band is trying to achieve. The track, and the band itself, primarily deal in mid-tempo melodic black metal, but there are a lot of other elements thrown into the mix. The riffs on Thier are mostly slow, and have some doom and post-metal influences about them, but the band will occasionally break into the trem-picked and blasting sections that are more typically associated with the kind of epic black metal Amestigon channels. Sure, the Blut aus Nord and Agalloch influences abound on this release, but this has as much to do with the expertly placed addition of synths and Gregorian-style chants than it has to do with the epic atmospheres.

As for the downsides, Thier is nearly an hour’s worth of music spread out over 4 tracks, as such it can get a little taxing to maintain your attention throughout the whole album. For those with the constitution for 20-minute plus tracks, Amestigon do a good job of keeping the material engaging and not meandering and repetitive. It may take a few listens to wrap your head around, but Thier possesses enough interesting atmosphere and twists to warrant your time.

Thier is out now.