Illyria glide through forlorn forests on ‘Kenopsia’.
Kenopsia is a feeling one gets when something just seems… out of place. Namely, the eerie atmosphere that surrounds a location that was once or should currently be bustling with people, but is now abandoned and quiet. Like an empty, dark school hallway during the late evening; like a mute, unlit office on a weekend; like Southern Cross station in that two hour period of closure in the wee-hours of the morning; like one of those weird, empty “ghost cities” in China. That is kenopsia for you, my friends. It’s deftly-quiet emptiness and loneliness where there normally should not be any at all.
This forlorn vibe of isolation is exactly the message and tone evoked on Illyria’s latest single, the grim and crushing ‘Kenopsia‘. The Perth black metal outfit have been rather quiet lately, playing the odd show here and there following 2017’s stunning single, the brilliant yet mourning ‘Swansong‘, as well as their solid 2016 debut self-titled LP. Yet ‘Kenopsia‘ breaks that silence by being yet another grand, tasty slice of the emotionally blackened pie; commenting on our connection or lack there of with the natural world that cradles us.
This track comes from the band’s second album, ‘The Carpathian Summit‘, which drops Friday, April 26th, 2019; whose front cover (below) reflects this commentary on our seemingly environmental relationship and why the band perform the track in various lonely locales. At nearly five-minutes long, this latest composition shows that Illyria have upped their equally serene and blistering blackgaze craft in terms of dynamics, musical chops and also song-structure. It’s a towering track that lashes away like that of cold Phrygian winds, with a melodic under-current that just washes over you and warms your soul.
With gorgeous clean tapping guitars and pumping tremolo riffs, pounding blast beats and rampaging double kicks from Matt Unkovich (also the drummer for Statues), throat-shredding screams and low growls, and with a reverberant wall-of-sound quality, ‘Kenopsia‘ envelops you whole. It’s wonderfully haunting music from a lonely sun-setting scene; beautifully bleak post-black metal from a foggy early morning. It’s the distance sonic echoes of someone’s fading memory of a place that was once lush and alive. And I fucking love it! We wouldn’t be premiering it today otherwise.
Alongside fellow Perth metal outfits like Deadspace and Cancer, these young lads are on the forefront of Australia’s best black metal currently. Take notice:
‘The Carpathian Summit’ album release show:
FRIDAY 3RD MAY – Badlands Bar 18+ – Perth
W/ Deadspace, Yomi Ship and Waste Not