Noise Trail Immersion unleash meticulously constructed chaos and suffocating atmospheres on their sophomore full-length album, Symbology of Shelter.
For 44 straight minutes the Turin-based quintet refine and expand upon the dissonant black metal characteristics that were introduced in their 2016 album, Womb, while retaining the spastic, mathcore tendencies the band have exhibited since day one. The result is a maelstrom of dissonant, sprawling sound that resides somewhere between the discordant groove of Solace-era Ion Dissonance and the atonal black metal of Plebeian Grandstand.
But while a lot of artists of similar styles use their frantic musicianship as a crutch, Noise Trail Immersion use it tastefully here by blending the unpredictability with layering and spacing techniques, atmospheric qualities, and melody where appropriate. The band excel past a lot of their contemporaries with Symbology of Shelter‘s cohesive, memorable songwriting that sounds less like a thousand conflicting riffs patched together, and more like well-crafted, detailed mayhem.
“Mirroring” kicks the record off and immediately showers the listener in knife-like, dissonant riffs and subterranean, angular grooves that writhe underneath. The song then transitions from its noisy squall to a tense section of sprawling, atonal melodies and complete rhythmic hell, courtesy of drummer Paolo Mingoni, before building into a towering sludge climax of apocalyptic proportions. All the while, frontman Fabio Rapetti spits corrosive vocal acid over the top of everything.
A two-part assault titled “Repulsion and Escapism Part I” and “Repulsion and Escapism Part II” follow shortly after “Mirroring” concludes. Part I showcases more emphasis on groove and low-end, pummeling the listener with a barrage of groaning, erratic riffs that continually morph from low-end grumbles to higher register shrieks. Part II, in contrast, discombobulates listeners with an array of piercing, dagger-like riffs and spiraling licks that battle with off-kilter beatdowns and guitar generated cacophonies for dominance.
A second set of two-part songs titled “The Empty Earth” appears a little later in the album and proves to be the album’s shining moment. The over nine-minute “The Empty Earth Part I” begins on a subdued note with bellowing grooves and shimmering melodies that echo among a hollow backdrop. Slow-burning chords come into view and build tension as the song gradually becomes more dissonant and menacing, eventually reaching a climax devastating, blackened instrumentation.
“The Empty Earth Part II”, which is also over nine-minutes, opens with lengthy procession of towering, somber guitar riffs that are accompanied by Rapetti’s droning, melancholic clean vocals. The slowly builds into an almost post-metal like march full of lumbering sludge and intertwining, reverberating melodies before retreating once more into the quiet. From there, the song escalates one more time into a final burst of powerful, anthemic riffs and triumphant leads that are propelled by rampaging drumming to the finish.
Symbology of Shelter is Noise Trail Immersion‘s crowning achievement to date and is a testament to how a firm grasp on chaos, coupled with an attention to detail, can yield epic results.
Release Date: November 2, 2018
Label: Moment of Collapse Records
Favorite Tracks: “Mirroring”, “The Empty Earth Part I” and “The Empty Earth Part II”
For Fans Of: Ion Dissonance, Plebeian Grandstand, Dodecahedron and Helpless