There are bands whose albums you can wait half your life for – simply because you know that what will come to you in the end will capture your essence completely and all that time will seem like a brief blink.
Such inspiring name is the Australian black metal duo
AUSTERE, who have returned in a whirlwind of creativity after more
than thirteen years on hiatus.
„To Lay like Old Ashes“, the band’s latest album from 2009, cut deep into AUSTERE’s sonic mark not only musically, but also historically, cementing the band as a leader among representatives of the depressive black metal genre.
The echoes of their last album have been resonating for all these years, making every avid fan of their unique sound hope for new material and keep a close eye on everything that happens around the formation.
And here it is. It happens.
The wait is over – AUSTERE release their (really long-awaited) third full-length album, „Corrosion of Hearts“.
You might have guessed from the album’s title that the band has no intention of abandoning their trademark depressive melancholy entirely, which is confirmed by the breezy dreamy emotional charge that hits us with the opening melodies of the first track, „Sullen“.
According to the musicians themselves, it’s no coincidence that this is the title track – seems that the song is the catalyst for Austere to rekindle their flame, and the band had the opportunity to add a lot of new melodies in it that they didn’t have enough time for in their previous album.
Without any pretense or unnecessary marketing gimmicks, the band
returns with a slightly changed and matured, but still captivating
and uncompromising sound, keeping everything from their previous
releases that managed to captivate us – their cutting
ice-cold guitars , the pulsating drums, the
high-pitched screams and harsh vocals of Sorrow and Desolate,
and last but not least – their beautiful lyrics and honest
Apart from everything described, we can also hear the ear sweet combination between 90’s Norwegian black and blackgaze on the album. Something we haven’t heard in this exact form before – the atmosphere here is in places completely all-consuming and dream-inducing.
The beautiful and frank expression in the title is
something that can be felt on a very deep level – ethereal guitars
are complemented by accenting drums, surrounded in places by
keyboard colorations and cinematic soundscapes and ambient
Both musicians contribute with their vocals, covering the entire spectrum of the genre and ranging from guttural growls to devastating screams to clean singing.
In the typical band tradition, their songs are ever so meandering, fluid, multi-layered, and epic in size – totally enough to be able to fully engulf you, and completely not enough to not leave some abstinence after the album is over.
Though consisting of only four chapters (plus one bonus chapter
in the artbook version), „Corrosion of Hearts“ is an authentic
melancholic sonic novel that will hold your ear steadfastly to its
46-minute atmospheric veil of skillfully chosen embracing
contradictions – melancholy and aggression, a faster and more fluid
rhythm, dark despair and a bright burst of hope, raw primal energy
and a more mature, calm breeze.
I’d say this is one of the truest albums I’ve listened to in the recent years – AUSTERE’s authenticity brings us Art in the purest sense of the word, which everyone can interpret in their own way, while still bringing the universal sense of the beauty of melancholy, pure expression and the black metal core of bygone wonderful eras.
„The Poisoned Core“ is probably the song that most clearly captures that old-school black metal feel with its heady ambient atmospherics in the vein of Filosofem-era Burzum. Somewhere inside me I’ve always wanted to hear this dark and beautiful combination.
And to make it even more exciting, take a good look at the
cover. At first glance, it may seem quite abstract, but it’s not.
Right there, Vhan Artworks captures the essence of „Corrosion of
Hearts“ – the palm open wide holding the anatomical heart
surrounded by barbed wire , which gradually dissolves into the air
and its parts take the shape of a deer and a flock of birds
(the same style as the band’s logo).
All this amidst an apocalyptic, devastating and hopeless atmosphere.
A painting – symbol of purity , pain and their beauty.
If you need a melancholic break from reality, filled with the
magic of the authentic raw core of cold and fascinating black
metal, then „Corrosion of Hearts“ is your ticket to wander through
Through its sensual swirl, the album provokes different sensations and transforms the melodies into that special musical phenomenon that we can’t hear anywhere else but in the work of AUSTERE .
Their hearts are wide open, their ideas springing forth in full force and ready to prove to us that years of waiting always make sense when it comes to something pure and true.
Favourite track: I hesitated for a long time whether I could separate one song from the greater whole at all , because during the first dozen listens of the album I got so carried away by the music that I couldn’t even follow what was going on, but „The Poisoned Core“ seems to be among the most continually put on repeat due to its rawer nature.
Album: „Corrosion of Hearts“
Release date: 28.04.2023
Label: Lupus Lounge/ Prophecy Productions
Order link: https://bit.ly/3RleSZ9
You can hear the first song from the album, „Sullen“