The Rickety Old Shack

Mesarthim — .- -... ... . -. -.-. .

Mesarthim - Morse Code cover

In spite of this album's effectively unsearchable title, Mesarthim managed to get a lot of attention and good press for this release. After dropping a pair of very well received EPs this year, this Australian blackened space-metal project serves up their second full-length album called .- -... ... . -. -.-. ., which translates to "Abscence" from Morse Code.

The album features 6 tracks and runs just under 40 minutes in length. While .- -... ... . -. -.-. . is hardly a departure from the project's past work, the material is a little faster and has more riff-oriented moments than prior material. There are still long passages where the guitar serves as a backing drone as synths and drums set a cold, outer-space mood. The inclusion of some more traditional metal riffing with the sprawling, synth-heavy atmospheric passages does well to resolve the tension that builds throughout each song.

The exact concept Mesarthim are trying to convey with these albums and EPs is unclear, but it is seemingly following some sort of interstellar journey. Everything about the 'story' behind these releases is extremely ambiguous, which lends an interesting aura of intrigue to what would otherwise be yet another obscure metal project. The album closes out with a very rapid Morse Code message being broadcast as the final track fades out.

The message was decoded by fans on the Internet, reducing the track to approximately 1/4 its proper speed in order to discern the individual letters of the message. The resulting translation was "the great filter approaches." A cryptic message, but not incoherent; The Great Filter is a component of the Fermi Paradox — essentially it is a term for whatever might prevent life from easily establishing throughout the universe.

The message is vague, but one could assume that Great Filter, in this instance, is some sort of cataclysmic event or alien intelligence. It is difficult to tell if there truly is a deeper narrative or if these little pieces of backstory are just meant to occupy — and perhaps troll — the obsessive listener type. Either way, the music itself is really good so even if scouring the Internet for Morse Code translations isn't your thing, you can still enjoy this album.

Summary

The second full-length album in a quickly growing discography. Mesarthim continue to produce very engaging, heavily digital take on the black metal genre. The cold, sterile feeling of outer space is so perfectly expressed in the band's work, while flourishes of crushing heaviness keep the listener engaged and banging their head. The heavy passages are the most crushing pieces the band has written, and the atmospheric moods and transitions perfectly blend each track into a cohesive, quality album.

Album Information

Release date: Augsut 28th, 2016
Record label: independent

. — vocals
. — other

Track Listing

  1. .----
  2. ..---
  3. ...--
  4. ....-
  5. .....
  6. -....

—by Derek

Published: September 10th, 2016