Released: 2014, Mortis Humanae Productions
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
I don’t know where Mortis Humanae continues to find this seemingly endless supply of quality French black metal, but whatever it is they’re doing, I fully support it. The latest such release is ALIENATION, the sophomore full length from Bordeaux’s Strynn. Part traditional kvlt, part European avante garde, it’s a best of both worlds release for black metal enthusiasts.
The biggest differentiator between Strynn and the glut of globally like minded black metal outfits is their core musical presentation. There are some definite traditionalist Scandinavian flavors, but the arrangements are dissonant and discordant; almost like a more extreme version of Voivod. Vocally, the band approaches their craft with a dual approach, Anadrark covering the lows and Dwimorberg owning the higher register scowls. Collectively it makes for a naturally abrasive batch of tunes, and succeeds at creating atmosphere without any of the usual extra fluff.
As cold and intentionally inaccessible as Strynn has tried to make themselves sound, ALIENATION ends up being a pretty compelling listen. There’s a genuine hostility behind songs like “Anthropophobia”, “Obliteration” and “Perdition” that gets under your skin and make you want to continue the journey with them. The closing 14-minute track “Jailed” spends half of its run time in a wash of screeching feedback, as if to say “okay, you’ve made it this far, now suck on this.”
ALIENATION isn’t going to appeal to the masses, nor is that at all what Strynn has intended. It’s an intentionally unfriendly album that’s both difficult and rewarding if you can churn through it. Not for the faint of heart, but if you’re up to the task, you can purchase a copy through the Mortis Humanae webstore.