Siculicidium - _Hosszú út az örökkévalóságba_
(Sun & Moon Records, 2013)
by: Chaim Drishner (7 out of 10)
Romanian band Siculicidium finely pull through with a somewhat captivating release, as opposed to their previous bland offerings, displaying simple, punk-oriented, stripped down melodies of melancholy. The music bears similarities with Norwegian Forgotten Woods, Joyless, Swedish Hypothermia and to some extent also Lifelover, in that they incorporate urban, disenchanted, austere melody coupled with nonchalant playing, exploiting punk rock oriented black metal paradigms and displaying some gloomy shoegaze rock etiquette, making the blend a seamless effort of robust dynamics and avantgarde flair.

Overall, the recording is very ear friendly, devoid of the band's blasting drums of old, replaced by rather constant, unimaginative drumming that sits well with the despairing tunes; and above all, presiding are the gritty, half-intelligible croaking vocals that own a unique sonic color, albeit mostly monolithic and unchanging throughout the recording but for a few surprising spoken verses here and there.

_Hosszú út az örökkévalóságba_ ("Long Way to Eternity" in Hungarian), the band's second full-length -- succeeding a history of EPs and splits throughout their decade long existence -- is probably the most mature and tamed recording to date by this Romanian group who are strongly inspired by Hungarian folklore and history. Part of their charm is their ability to incorporate Hungarian into the recording as the only language they use, and this very fact adds a certain charm, for Hungarian is a language with a singular sound and unique pronunciation seldom used by internationally distributed metal bands.

The band incorporate a trumpet, in miniscule doses, that boosts the music incredibly further into the realms of avantgarde done right; a single instrument that adds an immediate, deeper dimension to the overall melancholy on display.

Being signed to Sun & Moon Records, the sister label of Valse Sinistre, you'd be reminded of another band on the latter label's roster, namely the Dutch black metal band now turned completely shoegaze, Hypomanie. Both bands have much in common, although Hypomanie do not use vocals on their pure shoegaze efforts, while Siculicidium's black/punk or blackgaze aesthetics, if you will, are much more pronounced in that regard; but still, the similarities are there.

The recording is presented with high musical standards in terms of crisp production that lets every instrument breathe, although it retains a certain sense of underground grandeur, in addition to amazingly beautiful cover art done by a very talented Shaun Beaudry, depicting a surreal, twisted 'death tree'.

_Hosszú út az örökkévalóságba_ is all in all an intriguing listening experience for those who have been following Siculicidium's career and want to hear the band at the zenith of their musical aspiration; in addition to any one who's intrigued by a mix of basic, no-frills black metal devoid of tremolos or blast beats, that heavily flirts with shoegaze rock with a slice of avantgarde thrown in.

Contact: http://www.sunandmoonrecords.com/

(article published 10/4/2014)


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