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Farsot - "Insects" (CD)

Farsot - "Insects" CD cover image

"Insects" track listing:

1. Like Flakes of Rust
2. Empyrean
3. Perdition
4. 7
5. Adamantine Chains
6. The Vermillion Trail
7. Withdrawal
8. Somnolent

Reviewed by on December 23, 2011

"Not your typical horns-n-hooves satanic black metal, Germany’s Farsot opts for groove and trance-inducing movements over blast beats and droning tremolo licks."

Not your typical horns-n-hooves satanic black metal, Germany’s Farsot opts for groove and trance-inducing movements over blast beats and droning tremolo licks. “Insects,” the follow-up to their 2007 debut “IIII,” shows the group retaining an atmospheric approach, while settling into a slower pace and writing songs in English. I can make out certain words and phrases, but not enough to formulate the album’s central ideas and concepts. Thanks to the album’s press release, I can tell readers the album concerns humanity’s perception of its place in the universe and our feelings when confronted with lesser creatures, such as those under our feet.

Farsot creates a sense of tiny legs moving and slimy, spherical shapes wriggling through a vast array of ringing guitar notes, both high and low pitch, interludes of soft melody (see “7”), slow-to-medium tempo churns and warm bass lines. Maybe my interpretation is way off; conceptually, the group most likely created the album with ideas of greater profoundness, but these are the images that its movements bring to mind. Again, the vocals do little for bringing perspective to these abstract ideas.

Vocalist 10.XIXt (all members use mathematical characters for names) presents a multifarious vocal approach, which fans the flames of curiosity. Just what is this dude getting at? In terms of sheer tone alone, the decimal-pointed one will captivate his audience. His foremost voice is one of groaning, zombie tones (think Mayhem vocalist Attila Csihar). At the end of “Withdrawal,” he assumes a light version of this tone, so his voice becomes another instrument.

He adds an extra layer of melody to sweeping chords and ethereal keys found around the three-minute mark of “Empyrean.” Fans of Enslaved’s current prog-flavored albums will love this passage. “Insects” is a black metal album, so shrieking tones are a must. Farsot’s multi-tongued singer often takes a more traditional black metal approach. His middle range conforms well with a clean vocal passage on “Perdition,” again adding another dimension to the band’s sound.

Besides the barrage of notes that confront its listeners on the first track “Like Flakes of Rust,” “Insects” functions at a slow to medium pace. Vibe is more important than barbarian aggression. This vibe worked its magic upon early listens, but a greater analysis revealed an album without oomph. “Insects” could benefit from diversifying its tempos. These days, raw, fast black metal of the “Transilvanian Hunger” and “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas” variety has to be excellent to grab my attention, but “Insects” could benefit from some of this “mediocrity.” Insects” will take its listeners down strange highways, but they’ll stay in the slow lane the whole time.

Highs: Atilla-like groaning vocals, churning riffs and melody

Lows: The album could benefit from a dose of speed.

Bottom line: "Insects" conveys an interesting vibe and concept, but the slow pace becomes boring.

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)