Madmans Esprit

Album Title: 
Release Date: 
Monday, October 6, 2014
Review Type: 

I had never heard of this band before, South-Korean based act Madmans Esprit. The bio included, kindly provided by A Sad Sadness Song (which actually is a sub-division of Aeternitas Tenebrarum Musicae Fundamentum aka ATMF), files this band’s stuff as Schizophrenic Dark-Black Metal, so I was quite virginal in mind when I listened to the album Nacht for the first time. The devirgination (aka defloration), however, was quite painful and horrific…

Nacht, or at least the version I received from this Italian label, consists of six lengthy pieces (there is an edition with one shorter bonus track too). The album opens with My Little Dark Paradise, and as from the beginning it intrigues me. It starts somewhat in the DSBM-trend (the Depressive-Suicidal Black Metal sub-genre), including the appropriate sound (rough yet decent), the correct grim atmosphere, that fine slow-paced tempo, and the ideal vocals, being tortured and ill. Pretty soon, after just over a minute, the whole turns into a semi-acoustic thing, followed half a minute later by a somewhat energetic mixture of Post-Rock and ProgRock, with clean vocals (pretty bizarre to hear, for being very varying, including poppy, classical, whispering, dramatic and melodic voices), before restarting once again with a blackened piece at +/- three minutes, this time being faster and heavier. And this variety continues permanently throughout the whole sonic experience. There are so many things that do pass the revue, rooted within tens of different genres, unlimited, uncompromising. Doom and Black Metal, Classic Music and Pop, Post-Rock and Progressive, Folk and Alternative, it’s just a first glimpse of the different angles…

Quite some parts do sound cohesive, despite the unheard differentiation, yet here’s the other side of the game: once in a while I get the impression certain excerpts aren’t but a collage of good ideas that miss transparency and cohesion. Sometimes that’s a pity for sure. But it isn’t but a minority that lacks this essential element, for the better part rocks and rolls like an oiled engine. Still this aural experiment needs several listens to discover all levels, though I am pretty sure many listeners will give up after their first try (and I can understand why). Yet there’s no reason not to go deeper into the sonic matter, for you will experience quite some highlights for sure!