The Rickety Old Shack

Mesarthim — The Great Filter EP

Mesarthim - The Great Filter EP, cover

At this point, every 2-3 months I've come to just expect a new Mesarthim release of some sort — whether it's a single track, EP or full-length album. After gaining a rather large following after Pillars, Spire, and then .- -... ... . -. -.-. ., we get yet another EP — all within a year. As the band's last album ended with a Morse Code message stating "the great filter approaches," I guess it shouldn't be a surprise that this new release is called just that.

As a single track, "The Great Filter" is 21-and-a-half minutes in length so I believe it qualifies as something other than a single. Semantics aside, the track itself is excellent. Just as .- -... ... . -. -.-. . upped the ratio of heavy guitar passages, The Great Filter continues in this vein. There is still the expected mix of brooding synth, string and piano sections, but the heavy part are the heaviest of any Mesarthim offering to date.

As good as anything else in their discography, The Great Filter doesn't see Mesarthim stepping outside their comfort zone but the production is the best they have ever had. As a fan of all of this project's past work, this EP is a must-have for atmospheric metal fans. Following the narrative — if one could even call it that — of each release, the crushing, overt heaviness of this release certainly fits with the extinction-level event inferred by this EP's title.

As with the previous album, The Great Filter also closes out with a Morse Code message — although this one was much quieter in the mix, and I didn't catch it on the first few listens. The message translates to "right ascension 01H53M31.81479S declination," which are celestial coordinates, which resolves to a star named Mesarthim in the Aries constellation (link). As with all of their hidden messages, this is extremely vague; who knows what it means, if anything. I just take these Morse Code messages as signs there is still more material to come.

Summary

Another strong release from an obscure, niche project. Cosmic black metal, sprinkled with synmphonic and electronic flourishes; 21 minutes of quality music I strongly recommend to fans of the atmospheric sub-genres of metal. Following a full-length album that emphasised the guitars a lot more, The Great Filter boasts an even heavier sound and a bigger production sound.

Album Information

Release date: December 11th, 2016
Record label: independent

. — vocals
. — other

Track Listing

  1. The Great Filter

Listen / purchase: Bandcamp

—by Derek

Published: February 10th, 2017