In spite of the name, Au-Dessus are from Lithuania. I had the pleasure of listening to their first album “End of Chapter” last year. That one was an atmospheric and intense work of post black metal. This work is a re-issue of an original EP from 2015, and what they seem to have done is to insert some short interludes between tracks.
The band doesn’t bother with track titles. There are nine pieces of different length. Typically the album starts in a menacing and post-apocalyptic way. This world is grey and merciless. There’s no need to make sense of it because it’s like an electric field, and our mission is survival. Any humanity is either depicted in desperate screams or blood-curdling groans and growls. This smacks of weight but at the same time the brutal instrumentals have momentum and make statements. Sometimes it’s post metal dinginess. Sometimes it’s a plain assault on the senses, occasionally diverting into desolate soundscapes. A distant pagan-style chant appears in the background of the third track, a nine minute black epic. The crashing sounds of thunder and voids follow this. The leap to a more fresh form of black metal is unexpected as I was firmly entrenched in the void, but the fifth opus soon takes us in its wings with its roaring and almost indie energy. Au-Dessus never fail to remind us that their world is a blackened one, while introducing soaring and majestic patterns and adding dimensions in doing so. There is another dark cosmic interlude. After a long introduction, the violence returned with the seventh piece. It grinds us down with its simple intensity before we find ourselves once more floating in space and magnetic fields. Then it’s back to the other world, which is as deep and intense and fluid as ever.
My only criticism of this album is its continuity. The interludes are effective on their own but it’s as if the tracks were put together in a different place. Of course this is what has happened. This is a pity because Au-Dessus have great imagination when it comes to their music, and once again prove they are capable of taking us to a very dark place indeed in both a mesmerising and sometimes exciting way.