Released: 2017, Cimmerian Shade Recordings
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
ENTHEOGNOSIS is a hard album to describe. After several listens to the debut from the mysterious black metal troupe known as Plasmodium, I don’t even know if I enjoyed it or not. Plasmodium resides on the farthest fringes of black metal, alongside the likes of Gnaw Their Tongues and Dragged Into Sunlight. Fellow Aussie weirdos Portal might be a fair comparison, but even still, the differences between their creative outputs are like night and day.
ENTHEOGNOSIS is a less a collection of songs than it is a collision of various conflicting noises, samples, psychedelic instrumentation and occasionally climaxing women that all coalesce around central concepts for 10 to 20 minutes at a pop. The moments where these ingredients converge in a way that’s at all remotely familiar as “music” are few and far between, but when they do surface, you cling to them like a drowning man would a life preserver. “Reformoculus” introduces itself as an (almost) traditional black metal jaunt, albeit played against a wall of mechanical noise and out of harmony, eventually deconstructing itself into a wash of noise and female ecstasy. “Deuteromitosis” has a nugget of a tune sandwiched in between bookends of feedback and percussion that you'll only get to if you slog through the mire. At times the mashup of aural sequences is nails on a chalkboard level migraine inducing madness, but as you power through that discomfort, you’re innately curious to see where the compositions travel next.
I’ve been devouring all types of bizzaro, left of center music for the better part of 25 years, and ENTHEOGNOSIS is easily the most complicated album I’ve had to muscle through in a long time. That in itself speaks volumes about what Plasmodium intends to accomplish artistically, and I can’t begin to fathom how you follow up a record like this. If your curiosity has been piqued, travel on over to their Bandcamp page for a taste, but only if you’ve got the stomach for it.