Album Review: EIGENLICHT Self-Annihilating Consciousness
Eigenlicht's first full-length album, Self-Annihilating Consciousness, comes three years after their initial EP release, Sacral Regicide. Within this debut LP are five tracks, four of which that push well past 11 minutes. The four-member metal act started in 2014, forming from members of notable PNW projects like Skagos, Fauna, and Ekstasis. This extreme metal band produces black metal in a vein that draws upon a steady form of more modern tropes in recording and production; all while calling upon the more traditional approach for their mode and tone.
Self-Annihilating Consciousness finally sees its release this Friday by way of I, Voidhanger Records and Gilead Media. With plenty of synth tones and build-ups mirrored with piercing tremolo picking; it is clear Eigenlicht has a focus on building upon their sound through each song. The length of their tracks bolsters this formula and their pacing and composition build nicely. The trade, of course, is the depth and investment one must give to experience and understand each track. The casual listener looking for an immediately dark and moody payoff is better served with some less aiding black metal. Whereas here, smart hooks are traded for lengthy build-ups of semi-complete but fetching overtures.
Many of the tracks have the same formula—a slow burn—of building symphonic-like tremolo nerve picking in a melodic fashion that crescendo into a climax. These characteristics, of course, are the backbones of the songs, but within them contains a deeper flow. The agonizing vocals, the leading riffs, often changing from melancholy to a revived groove. The diversity is undoubtedly fluid and rewarding.
A mature sounding album with clear focus and direction, but with the opening track being a more ambient journey of tribal spirit; this non-recurring theme leaves the listener hanging dry by the end of the album. Where the entire body is well formulated and executed, the opening track and closing climax have nothing in relation. Ultimately, it leaves the listener feeling unresolved in their experience. Certainly, both the beginning and ending of an album do not have to be formulated in a fashion where everything is nicely wrapped up in a complete-feeling piece of music, but when such an intriguing, (and in my opinion cheated by brevity) opening ambiance is presented, a fair closing is expected, and I don't believe was met.