November 6, 2017

Sol Sistere - Unfading Incorporeal Vacuum

By Hera Vidal. I have had my run-ins with Chilean metal over the years and they are probably best known for their thrash metal, given both the speed of the music and the freedom the subgenre gives them for creating music.
By Hera Vidal.


I have had my run-ins with Chilean metal over the years and they are probably best known for their thrash metal, given both the speed of the music and the freedom the subgenre gives them for creating music. In this scene, a lot of bands wish to reach some mainstream prominence, whether it is getting signed to a major label (prior to their split, Mar de Grises was signed to Season of Mist) or being well-known around the world (Pentagram Chile comes to mind due to the underground tape trading circuit). However, some of the best bands are actually underground.

I used to have a silence manifestation
Directly outwards explodes your mind
When you reset your reality
Mind destruction is the authority

Sol Sistere is one of those underground black metal bands that already have so much experience in the Chilean metal scene, given how all of its members have been in bands prior to this one. However, what makes this band—and this album!—stand out is just how ballsy they are with their music. Unfading Incorporeal Vacuum sounds like an atmospheric black metal album, but it has the ferocity of classic black metal that doesn’t let you go away. However, unlike classic black metal, where anger seems to be the default emotion that can be heard, there is a sadness that shrouds the music. “Death Knell” sounds like a death tone, something you play to let everyone know that someone has died.

From that point, the music just seems to get sadder with each track, although the emotional range that is found within each track is something of note. For example, “Sight of the Oracle” starts off with constant guitar picking and backing bass before launching into a flurry of desperation that takes over the track. However, it quickly goes back to that atmospheric quality that we see a lot of in black metal and it makes sure to bring that emotional range back to peak. The vocals here are a work of art; they are not overwhelming and are thought to be more of an accent piece. Because of it, the focus is usually on the music and the atmosphere it brings to the listener. If you don’t feel something at the end of it, then you need to listen to this again.

Despite all of this, there is something that Sol Sistere lacks before they can be considered to be one of those classic metal bands. The problem with reaching peak during an album is that it doesn’t offer something new in the music. One of the faults of atmospheric black metal is the fact that the music can drone on forever without anything changing its structure or its tone. In such cases, atmospheric black metal should value quality over quantity. However, despite its constant musical structure, Unfading has the emotional backing to make this one of the most enjoyable albums I heard in 2016.

All in all, Unfading Incorporeal Vacuum demands your attention with its brand of straightforward, atmospheric black metal and emotional range. There are moments where the album flatlines a bit, but it picks up and continues to soldier on. This band is young, and I do have high hopes for them as they continue to specialize in black metal. They may be called South America’s best-kept black metal secret, but they still have a lot to prove to everyone. Kudos to Sol Sistere!

Tagged with 2016, atmospheric black metal, Hammerheart Records, Hera Vidal, Sol Sistere
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