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Bringing Death to Life: Werian Exercises Black Metal, Doom Metal, and More on “Hex”

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The time will soon come for Germany’s Werian to unveil their debut full-length after a series of demos and a split — the mysterious outfit seems poised to hone in on their special blend of trodding, methodical doom and emergent, organic black metal. And such is Animist, which beyond just blackened doom also dabbles in the psychedelia of post-modern rock and jazz sensibilities. The result is dynamic to say the least, and enthralling to say the most. We’re proud to host an exclusive stream of the new album’s first track “Hex” below, a near 13-minute mini-odyssey into the depths of your own twisted headspace.

“Hex” finds itself as the nexus of doom and black metal, but Werian haven’t aimed for the simpler 50/50 blend that the crossover genre sometimes breeds. Instead, great focus has been placed on both careful pacing and rock-oriented guitar riffing to manifest the all-important (and sometimes juxtapositional) feelings of complete despair and high-intensity introspection. Thick and swampy atmospheres here justify their presence at every moment: from the foreboding and slow-building intro to the song’s final dramatic resolve, everything feels thoroughly steeped and well-blended. “Hex” has its blasting moments, of course, but like Animist overall, raw, outright aggression is often replaced with something smoother and more nuanced. The result is an album with great sticking power, especially after multiple listens, but without anything to oversaturate your ears.

Animist releases February 22nd via Eisenwald.

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