There is an ancient legend that says that Hammurabi received his sacred code of law from Shamash. According to Babylonian mythology Shamash was the ruler of the entire universe and portrayed as a god who represented the Sun. Like many professional artists who made their way to notoriety the Swiss avant-garde/black metal neophytes Schammasch adopted a professional sonic art by presenting their own musical patterns. After the successful inception of their sequel album “Contradiction” in 2014 they truly began to shine among many modern bands.
Schammasch received huge media attention with the third installment “Triangle” which quickly rose to the highest ranks in the top albums of 2016. The avant-garde/black metal quintet defined themselves through a classy version of avant-garde music and lofty talent. This unique caliber was often compared to many modern bands such as Behemoth and Deathspell Omega. Schammasch extract their sonic art from innovative prospects and fuse unconventional methods from modern elements into the music.
‘Hearts of No Light‘, their fourth album, expands to newer horizons, approached to fit into the modernistic diversity. After spending three years in creating such a grandiose album, the Swiss quintet seems to embrace a set of ideas leading to intellectual inspiration. By creating their own brand of musical alchemy, they combine elements of avant-garde metal, progressive melodies and ambience to improve on the musical direction. The brief piano opening on the first track ‘Winds That Pierce the Silence‘ is followed by extensive instrumentation creating an ominous atmosphere.
This leads to the second track ‘Ego Sum Omega‘, a showcase from this Swiss quintet in exploring various styles within the metal spectrum. The intricate touch of instrumentation is boosted by a plethora of dissonance with drums adding dynamics to the song structure. Amid the increasing intensity of experimental elements in their signature style, these unique compositions are applied to create a sense of dark atmosphere along the strumming guitar riffs and drums blasting at full velocity.
Setting a tide between the slow moments of progressive metal the guitars overflow with dissonance and the cataclysmic hyper blast beats explode in force. Extending beyond the ordinary limits ‘Qadmon’s Heir‘ manifests a unique style of avant-garde black metal. The intricate details are sophisticatedly structured as Schammasch weave the dark guitar riffs mixing harmony and dissonance altogether. The clean chants are uttered in eccentric manner when suddenly the drums erupt. ‘Hearts of No Light’ ‘s strength lies in the beauty of its music. Schammasch‘s ability to push their musical boundaries to a further dimension is defined as a work of art.
‘Rays Like Razors’ is a ritualistic track built upon a multi-dimensional song structure, infusing elements of modern metal and black/death metal. At times the drums unleash a brutal force whereas the guitars emit extreme riffs, solos and lead guitars. It alters between tremolo pickings and pure dissonance, fusing churning riffs, low spoken words, dark rhythm and power to the track. Schammasch ‘s unprecedented performance on the new album does not surpass its predecessor, even though each track here has a complex layering, including the technical talents that manifest in many ways. ‘I Burn within You’ involves a theatrical work of art. Beside the sheer dynamics of the drums that act like an impulsive mechanism, the dissonance is spewed profusely.
Schammasch has its own unique sound and the new tracks are resolved with fine performance. The musical take on modern metal is unparalleled here. The Swiss quintet have proven to be more than capable. Gearing towards an obscure atmosphere, the band suddenly decides to brood over the dark/gothic 80’s riff style. ‘A Paradigm of Beauty‘ encompasses some ominous strumming as if the guitars are performed from an electronic space rock band. Here the band uncovers one of their musical oddities that might have not fit perfectly to their avantgarde style.
‘Katabasis‘ begins slowly as the brooding sense of darkness contrasts with the ominous riffs. Emphasizing on the hyper blast beats, ‘Hearts of No Light’ is a big step up in the band’s musical career. The latest achievement is beyond the work of creativity. Where Schammasch includes a wide range of the melodic spectrum, it combines a plethora of dissonance and dark musical elements. What is most astonishing about this album is how each track takes a different course and then reshapes itself into a gigantic piece of music. Furthermore, the tonality of the eruptive drums along with the guitar segments and the riffs adds a perfect atmospheric sense to the music overall.
The final track ‘Innermost, Lowermost Abyss‘ incorporates an ambient atmosphere and electronic beats. Here the role of pure instrumentation is extended to 15 minutes, evoking an oriental acoustic style. ‘Hearts of No Ligh’t might be one step behind its predecessor, but Schammasch latest offering is kaleidoscopic.
Release Date: November 8th, 2019
Label: Prosthetic Records
- Winds that Pierce the Silence
- Ego Sum Omega
- A Bridge Ablaze
- Qadmon’s Heir
- Rays Like Razors
- I Burn Within You
- A Paradigm of Beauty
- Innermost, Lowermost Abyss