Track Premiere: Swampborn – Aspiration a l’Absolu
No, they’re not from the Netherlands.
Swampborn instead hails from Russia, and their brand of post-black metal has had a lot of time to gestate. While having been around since 2011, they are only now approaching the release of their debut Beyond Ratio, which will feature “Aspiration a l’Absolu,” a single that first saw the light of an oppressively grey sky back in 2014. That’s a lot of time for refinement, and while the song has not fundamentally changed, it can’t have been easy to bring all its elements together in the first place—as you’re about to hear, there is quite a lot going on here. We’re happy to premiere the final version of the track for you today.
After emerging from (presumably) the eponymous swamp, the song stakes off the playing field with a neo-crust intro part before transitioning into its first proper section, which makes great use of a simple note progression plucked on an undistorted guitar. I’m also a big fan of the surprisingly melodic and almost un-grim lead guitar in the chorus and the little breaks that the blast beat takes here.
After a final one of these choruses, the middle section introduces not only an accordion, but also a change in vocal style and the first appearance of the female backing vocals. The song starts to slow down here and eventually morphs yet again into a breakdown section accompanied by cello and spoken word. I told you there’s a lot happening here, and we’re not quite done yet. The song’s last section is a melancholic march to the finish line which sees the main vocalist almost disappear behind a choir before subtle horns and a forlorn tremolo riff lead us to the song’s death throes.
Now I’ll admit that this kind of rundown of a song might not be the most interesting thing to read, but I couldn’t help myself. Every part here seems worth mentioning because of how well it’s executed. Most importantly, the end result doesn’t feel like they threw everything at the wall in the hopes that something might stick; rather, SSwampbornis able to carefully choose from nails, screws, and adhesive to make things stick. After hearing this and the single released a while ago, I’m immensely curious to see what else the album has in store.