The NegationIt’s good to see French horde The Negation back after dropping debut album Paths Of Obedience a couple of years ago. The grim atmospheres and solid war like battering of that particular album certainly hit a spot and impressed and I was keen to hear how the band featuring past and present members of Azziard, Moonreich, Ishtar and Neptrecus had progressed. They have in that time jumped ship from Mortis Humanae Productions to Kaotoxin and had a line up shuffle with a new drummer and guitarist entering the fold. Apart from that as play is pressed it’s obvious their cold, harsh and misanthropic heaving black sound has not been (err) negated in the slightest.

‘The True Enemy’ and I guess that refers to the whole of mankind snarls and batters in with grim fury and a Mardukian savagery showing that new drummer Lagodas can smash away with the best of them. Vocalist A.S.A. has a rasping delivery that cuts through the unrelenting bombast and scything guitars. There’s a solo fired out amidst it all but on the whole everything is totally chaotic and grim taking a while to get into the complexity of it all. At least with a song title such as ‘Sacrifice The Weak’ there is little difficulty understanding the groups blunt doctrines and it’s no surprise that this blasts in and goes about taking your head clean off. They don’t just play at headlong velocity though and things do occasionally slow down allowing the stifling atmosphere s to form around you like a thick fog. However they go about it though this is particularly nasty stuff and at least it is not something the weak will see coming as there is no way they would listen to it! Amidst the stew of turmoil there are samples in the background with voices making it all the more horrible sounding.

Melody is present but it will take only the most experienced of black clad acolytes to distinguish it from the quaking miasma within the songs. It is maiming and killing that comes first and if you can penetrate beneath that fair play to you as the virulent ‘Parasite Fail’ slows and spreads its contagion it’s probably too late for most. There is what sounds like a sermon for the damned being spat out here and the tone of the slower parts has a particularly dread filled taste about it. There’s a hint of Swedish orthodoxy about the glistening guitars as ‘A Prayer To The Ones I Will Have To Kill’ (a title that says it all) shimmers in. I would like to hear exactly what is going on vocally here and I bet it isn’t pleasant especially when the track suddenly explodes into a venomous and spiteful diatribe with all the instruments sounding like they are punching the living shit out of each other. ‘Faith In God’s Corpse’ brings grandiose magnificence to the fore allowing the instrumentation to momentarily sparkle before the drumming brutalises in and the howls hit the stratosphere, it’s a potent display from the pulpit and one that’s not going to end well for the Nazarene.

This one took quite a few listens to get fully into, the mix is thick and somewhat obtuse melding well with the furious musical deluge from the players and at first it was tricky to penetrate. Even once you have done that this is a particularly bitter and hateful 42 minute listening experience and as things move towards the nihilistic shroud of mankind’s demise it does tend to leave you feeling particularly harrowed. No doubt that’s exactly what The Negation were looking to achieve though so full marks to them for that!

(7.5/10 Pete Woods)