'Hope', the fourth effort by Polish post-black metal act Mord'A'Stigmata is such an album. Divided into four chapters, this album drags you down into your own darkest emotions, fears and desires. They do it with an interesting array of influences and sounds too, ranging from fierce black metal to dark rock music and haunting doom. Furthermore, there are some massive psychedelic passages that turn this album into a trance inducing whirlpool of sound.
Opener 'Hope' already showcases all these elements. Although the tempo often changes, there is an overall atmosphere and theme to be found. Sometimes I'm reminded of other post-black metal acts Lantlôs and Alcest while on other occasions even Tiamat and Sisters Of Mercy come to mind. 'To Keep The Mind' opens with a damn immersive piece of mid tempo music before it slowly starts gnawing on your sanity.
In all, 'Hope' is an incredibly intense album, perfectly suited to play on maximum volume and perform the necessary rituals to exorcise your inner demons. It certainly feels like this album was written for that exact purpose. So obviously this thing comes highly recommended for all fans of dark, avant garde black metal. This one definitely is a candidate for most haunting album of the year...