Desolat Elegance is an Attitude… To Shit On LP

Massive and fierce debut full-length from Austria’s DESOLAT. Ghosts of early-century European metallic crust emerging as a fully formed modern beast. Thick guitars ripped from ’90s noise rock drive mid-paced riffs that swing hard, until the vocals sever all connection to hope and DESOLAT really settles into their bleak reality. That reality is a world where the sounds of GNU and UNSANE and THEMA 11 and ZEROID all offer an escape from hopelessness by displaying aural wounds in the open. I haven’t heard anything like this in a long, long time…and I’ve never heard this. That’s the highest praise.

Desolat Songs of Love in the Age of Anarchy 12″ picture disc

With a mammoth sound, DESOLAT of Vienna plays plodding, clear, and heavenly sludge metal. The sound here is more riff metal than dooming, droning earthquakes. There is a catchy flavor to the chords, such as MELVINS, and comfortingly dismal such as ASUNDER and NIGHTFELL. Some aspects of this record are ice-cold embittered vocals that have a harmonizing crust feel to them, others are warm, dense, and heavy breakdowns. The pace here is everything from dragging epic passages, to blackened riffing, to D-beat measures for a brief moment. I’m honestly not feeling the love songs from DESOLAT, but definitely the passion. “The Bureaucrat,” about midway through, is my favorite track, which goes all over the place as far as extreme music goes. There is a tidal of misery and optimism that moves from pastel clouds to the dark sea with their horizon of proto-metal and Scandinavian/European death metal. DESOLAT defines said Age of Anarchy without chaos, which I believe is the point of anarchy. So I’m feeling the unity here, presented with a palette mixture of BLACK SABBATH magic and SOILENT GREEN abrasion.

Desolat Shareholder of Shit 10″

The first two songs on side B are called “You Fucks in Suits” and “Still Fuck You Suit-Man.” That, along with the album title, lets you know that this band out of Vienna, Austria isn’t fucking with any bourgeoisie. What they are doing is long-winded crust dirges that, while incorporating some sick riffs, don’t really ever go anywhere. They kind of ride the same groove for the whole album with no real explosive freakouts or heart-sinking sludge breakdowns, just a consistent simmering rage. This isn’t bad, but it’s not very exciting either.