Lovecraft, perhaps captured the human condition of ignorance best when he stated, “The most merciful thing in the world… is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.” However, sometimes that state of grace seems to have been shattered within the minds and works of certain individuals, replaced with a seething energy that, to the masses, would approximate something like insanity.
It cannot be denied that the mystery-shrouded Asthâghul, the singular craftsman behind Esoctrilihum, of one the most deliriously productive projects going, is indeed one such mind. In the span of two years, Asthâghul has let loose four titanic compositions of merciless blackened death bizarrity, the fourth and most ambitious yet being The Telluric Ashes Of The Ö Vrth Immemorial Gods. But to call Asthâghul a mastermind or grand architect might be a falsity. Rather, he seems to have become a vessel for the unfathomed pantheon of cosmic gods his music promulgates.
Every facet of Esoctrilihum’s sound speaks truth to the idea of a mind under siege, and fractured under malefic intent. The instrumentation alone pushes the boundaries of both human ability and understanding, at times mounting to drum speeds so unwavering that the listener is left confounded in the midst of the storm. And as an extension of this, there are moments where Asthâghul himself seems almost overwhelmed by the surge of dreadful revelation that wracks his mind and body, as in “Aborted Sun” which threatens to derail into primal lunacy before being pulled back into cohesion by Asthâghul’s skill and constitution.
Perhaps the greatest plight to the prophet is the highest boon to us as listeners, as this latest album reflects a menagerie of personalities throughout its considerable length. Continuously in a state of change, morphing style and even production, both across and within songs, as in the tracks “Thar – Voknargh” and “Aborted Sun”, with the latter having been invigorated with a booming thunder to its bass drum and overall low end to create a suffocating pressure, while the former is comparatively airy. While most bands might demonstrate a great range in their play, it is rare that such overt leaps should be taken in the way of the mixing and production. But, Asthâghul seems to utilize the mixing board as an instrument as much as the guitar or drums, which vastly broadens his horizons of creation and serves to repeatedly take the listener off guard, consistently defying expectation.
Blackened death metal is a label often laid where it is not warranted, but Esolctrilihum is undoubtedly one of the more deserving of the title. While there are moments that might feel particular to one sub-genre, Asthâghul spins both into a wreath-like equilibrium, building off the dread and far reaching scope of Emperor or even Wolves In The Throne Room in “Stone Of Static Void”, for instance, as he likewise saps the brutish terrorism of Morbid Angel, evident in “Invisible Manifestation Of Delirium God”. One of the primary results of this fusion is Asthâghul’s range of vocals, which reflect one possessed as the laboured screeches suddenly give way under the commanding grunt of bestiality, and often all this over a churning sea of hissing, indecipherable curses.
Esoctrilihum is the manifestation of an illogical vision that goes beyond the breadth all normality. Regardless, if The Telluric Ashes Of The Ö Vrth Immemorial Gods is indeed the outcome of interdimensional influence or simply the psychotic vision of the individual known only as Asthâghul, the awe it inspires cannot be denied, to the extent that the premise of a man’s mind being contested over by conflicting alien forces all vying to bleed their essences into our native dimension seems more likely.
Soon to be released by I, VOIDHANGER RECORDS on digipak CD and double gatefold LP.