Rage and Frustration
Heavy Metal Reviews & Interviews
In The Company of Serpents – Ain-Soph Aur
Band – In The Company of Serpents
Album – Ain-Soph Aur
Country of Origin – USA
Genre – Doom Metal
Release Date – March 10th, 2017
Label – Independent
Author – Hayduke X
We’re stepping into the way-back machine for this one. I missed it at the time, and it ended up on my list for quick review in a Round-Up. As the Ministry song says, ‘Soon, I discovered…’ that I couldn’t stop with only four sentences. So, keeping that in mind, let’s get to the actual review.
Sometimes slow, heavy music is just plain boring. It lacks any kind of momentum or emotion. Then, some bands have some of one, or some of the other, or a bit of both mixed in between tedium. (Can you tell I came up on things like crossover thrash, hardcore punk, crust, grind, etc?) Then you have the cream of the crop, whose slow and heavy music is infused with both momentum and emotion. Let me name drop Neurosis, Sea of Bones, and Loss, among others. These three come from different sub-genres, but share those traits. Now, let me introduce you to a new entry to the same club. Hailing from Denver, CO, they are on their third full length with Ain-Soph Aur, though this is the first I’ve caught wind of them. Over a structure of midpaced doom, the duo overlays significant sludge elements, as well as hints of Americana and blues. The result is an absolutely gripping and soul crushing 36 or so minutes. The path they follow is dynamic, dropping into ambiance and acoustics, then moving back into throbbing guitars and driving percussion without ever going beyond that chosen pace.
As I wrote the above paragraph, I popped over to Metal Archives to see how many members it took to produce this album and sat momentarily in stunned silence when I discovered it to be only two. The sound here is so massive that it’s a little hard to believe. Upon further reflection, one of the things the album does so well is to allow riffs, rhythms, and other sounds time to speak. The album also is surprisingly sparse in a certain way, if you really focus on the number of riffs, the number of competing elements, the number of overlapping sounds. It just doesn’t come across that way. In other words, Joseph Weller Myer (drums) and Grant Netzorg (guitars, vocals) are equally adept at allowing empty space it’s proper place in the mix.
If you’ve ever read my work, you should know by now that I value emotion over technique in my music. I’m not a musician and am rarely impressed for long my extreme technicality or difficult playing styles (blast beats not withstanding). I need my music to make me feel something. Ain-Soph Aur is dripping with emotion. Pick it up, wring it out, and you’ll have an ocean of feeling. This is one of those albums that simultaneously seems to last a lifetime and an instant, but you feel changed by listening. Do you doubt me? Give it a listen, front to back. If you don’t have forty minutes, then try Crucible and Limitless Light.
Recommendation: Wow! Mind = blown!