Release Date: 1999
Genre: Avant-garde/Progressive Metal
1. Ferocious Weights (07:36)
2. A Conception Pathetic (07:03)
3. Undine And Underwater Flowers (08:48)
4. The Ocean, The Kingdom, And The Temptation (11:22)
5. Pondering A Wall (06:22)
6. Catharsis Of Sal-Sleep And Dreaming Shrines (09:33)
7. Blight Of River-Systems (05:51)
8. Outro (02:01)
9. Beauty (08:39)
10. The Crystal Margin (03:23)
Total Length: 01:10:38
Ferocious Weights starts with a pretty heady intro, both heavy but with touches of oddity, like the horns that help push the mood. Female vocals are the first heard in this album, which kind of offset an ethereal quality to the darkness of the music. The song kind of climaxes most of the way through, and then we get a calm section to release the tension and head toward the next track. A Conception Pathetic starts out with some heaviness but quickly discards that in favor of a more psychedelic flavor, before heading back into land of riffs. This is probably one of the more accessible tracks on the album, but even that isn’t saying much honestly. I like the circus-y ending.
Undine And Underwater Flowers has a quieter intro, and it doesn’t do a whole lot for me. The song really grabs me a few minutes in when suddenly you’ve got woodwinds covering both ends of the stereo soundstage, and just that one little thing changes the dynamic quite a bit for me. The whole song keeps that pace which is nice but kind of tiring. The Ocean, The Kingdom, And The Temptation is a bigger track, but I feel it kind of meanders. I do enjoy the moments about halfway through when again, the woodwinds come on. I don’t know if it’s the pure sound of those instruments, the novelty of them in relation to the rest of the album, or how their usage is more innovative than what is done with the other instruments.
Pondering A Wall is immediately more engaging than the previous track, and a bit more crazy in general. The riffs are quite good, on par with some of the other metal acts at the time while employing odd traits like the flanged vocals. It also brings back some female vocals, and they only add to the strangeness, making this a pretty effective track. Catharsis Of Sea-Sleep And Dreaming Shrines is a big song that is very tough for me to get into. I like some of the things it does but it’s hard to wrap my mind around and I almost dislike it for that.
Blight Of River-Systems is much more palatable to me. It’s a more standard song but the use of fairly odd, sometimes macabre lyrics in a poppier setting is neat, and the song does to get to go nuts near the end. Outro is kind of useless to me, it’s just two minutes of indecipherable whispering. Fits the album, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. Beauty and the next track are probably from a demo by the band, though I have no idea which one. This song kind of treads some of the similar ground as the album while being less ‘out there’. I don’t particularly enjoy it, honestly. The Crystal Margin is a bit simpler and kind of reminds me of The Meads Of Asphodel. I find it to be a decent track. This album of course has some growing moments and won’t catch you on the first listen, but I also think it’s pretty near to reaching the peak of how much I’ll enjoy it.
Final Rating: 7.5/10