CarrierI will hold my hands up and state that I’ve never really been a fan of one person black metal bands or any metal band for that matter. I’ve always felt that the artists were spreading themselves too thinly when other more specialised musicians could be employed. However it has to be said that the mastermind behind Carrier Flux, one Jeff Philips, shows an unerring ability and talent to pull off some astonishingly wondrous songs harnessing a dark, brooding avant-garde atmosphere stylistically on this his third release.

The opening acoustic intro of “Imperative Regression” sets the scene perfectly for the title track’s harsh attack and bitterly biting blast. The guitar melody is excellent as the tune drops its pace for the croaky vocal style. The beat almost has a sleaze feel and my reference to the likes of Agrypnie, Imperium Dekadenz and a whole raft of melodic black metal outfits is displayed in gloriously ominous grey scale. Aggression and melody are finely balanced within the big sound afforded as “Midas Earth” follows nicely with varying vocal styles like you’re being a told a story through sonic theatrics.  The drums are programmed and whilst noticeable due to their tone and lack of organic stature the programming has been done with a great deal of thought to how they sit within the actual instrumentation and I commend Jeff for his attention to detail.

His ability to experiment is obvious with medieval folk elements and dark menacing Gothic overtones being used liberally and to excellent effect on “The Path Of Children Damned”, with clean vocals being incorporated. I couldn’t help but think of the German act Evereve before they turned entirely Gothic on album number three, with particular reference to the “Stormbirds” album, which if you’ve not heard you really should as it is brilliant and showcases the wondrous vocal dexterity of Tom Sedotschenko before he killed himself. But I digress as more acoustic guitar adorns “We Who Worship Pain”, a morose and saddening song that combines violence and tranquility with equal fervour.

These kinds of albums always have a feeling of moroseness coursing through their veins, a despondent and chilling atmosphere manifested through various riffs and melodies such as those on “The Exalted Malign”. The song has changes in pace and a subtle dark Gothic texture that is counterbalanced against the blasting sections to create a schizophrenic mood that could remind you of very early Solefald material. They always say that quality albums in any genre are never a sum of their individual parts and “Objection” is one such album, it’s the melding of each element into a blackened melancholic tapestry that reveals the end result of such excellent proportions and this album has plenty to offer the discerning melodic black metal listener who enjoys the Gothic touch, revels in the suicidal despair of the riffing and won’t deride the album when it throws something different at you.

 (8/10 Martin Harris)