Enter Montes Insania, a duo from Russia and Ukraine which easily crosses the borders between black metal, post-rock and shoegaze without shunning the experiment. Their latest album 'Absurdum' is a excellent piece of work where even classical music has its place. The album also contains the 2014 e.p. 'I Am Empty'. This concludes in a massive 79 minutes lasting epos of intense bleakness, despair, downfall and new hope. Maybe also interesting to mention: the album is dedicated to the works of Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre.
What strikes me most on this album is the, quite unsettling, experimental nature of the album. Of course the foundation is black metal but beyond that there are a lot of avant-garde elements included, like the strange voices at the end of title track 'Absurdum'. In that aspect, I guess it's safe to mention strange acts like Virgin Prunes or Christian Dead in this review. Add the haunted vocals, typical for the black metal genre, and the result is a hard pill to swallow if you're not used to this kind of music.
'God Of Dust' nudges mostly towards some melodic or atmospheric black metal bands like Dimmu Borgir and Cradle Of Filth but without the punishing bombast of those two. It remains a strange experience and definitely an eerie one. You never know what's going to happen with this duo and that's quite a great aspect in this music. 'At Final Was Nothing' for instance incorporates some post-punk influences which sound a bit like surf rock at times. It's odd and bewildering but comes with a decent dose of sheer brutality.
Furthermore there's quite a lot of dark, melodic rock in here but always covered in a thick layer of elusive experimentation. The result is an almost inaccessible assault of extreme music which might scare off some people but is irresistible for others. I'm somewhere in the middle, trying to grasp all the different elements and aspects of this music but it's a tedious task. Montes Insania seem to have an urge to deviate from the traditional aspects of their music, a bit like some freejazz acts do but, of course, a lot heavier.
But there are also some safe havens, mainly in the use of piano and strings. Somehow these elements manage to keep the album on a human level, a bit more down to earth than the punishing approach of the traditional instruments used. 'Hospice For All', for instance, perfectly combines both extremes and quickly becomes one of my favorites on this crushing album.
In all, 'Absurdum' a difficult album, demanding a lot from the listener, who, in his turn, will be rewarded with a piece of music that will grow in time and has the possibility to become a fan-favorite in this eerie genre. This certainly is an unexpected gem from the blackened underground and can only recommend it if you're into the bands I mentioned in this review. If you're not, check it out anyway. It will leave you behind in terror and disbelief but at least you've experienced something unique.