Metaconquerer - Of Steel, Bone and Fire [Syzmic Records - 2008]“Of Steel, Bone and Fire” is the second full length release from Metaconquerer. J. Stillings, also of Steel Hook Prosthesis, solo project. This is the first time I’ve experienced Metaconquerer, and I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised. Influences of Nordvargr, Lustmord and Sleep Research Facility can be heard but I think it’s more of a compliment than imitation.
The best way to describe what’s heard on “Of Steel, Bone and Fire” is too say chilling. Frightening, cold and hellish would also work. There is a subtle balance between moments that seem truly demonic to those that are cleverly angelic, as is the case with “The Great Antagonist”. At times it appears that this is the soundtrack to another world. The mechanical coldness of Industrial combines flawlessly with a white noise Ambient sound. It takes a slight turn on “In The Stone House Unheard”, were Black Metal flourishes are interspersed throughout with eerie effect. This doesn’t take away from the theme of the cd, in fact it only adds to the morbid and somber setting.
One point that needs to be brought up is that of the importance of vocals. Here they are used as almost a narration over what we are hearing musically. The effect that is produced is dynamic. Whereas highly distorted vocals can usually sound silly or gimmicky, these sound unnerving and demonic; admittedly the first thing to compare it with was the intense spoken word of Arckanum and to a lesser degree, Skinny Puppy (think of the “Rabies” era version of the band).
It’s exciting when music has the ability to overwhelm the listener. Just when you think it’s just another Industrial/Noise/ Ambient release, it becomes a living, breathing presence. No matter that the presence is an angry, malevolent being.