Grim Observations: Mekigah – Litost (2015)

Mekigah are an interesting atmospheric act, which seem to have some ritualistic overtones in their music. There are vocal elements, but these vocals aren’t a hefty part of the recording. Rather it seems to revel in a sort of dark soundscape (as we quit enjoy here at The Grim Tower) and feels comparable to Dead Can Dance at their most ominous. There’s always been something to most Dead Can Dance records that I feel is a bit of a bleak sensation, which Litost captures here. Some sections can feel like that of a film score, perhaps a bit like the orchestral font that I’ll hear during certain parts of Castlevania: Mirror Of Fate HD, while others seem to take a turn into almost industrial static. So many different styles of darkness make this record a very difficult one to describe. It hinges certainly on the Gothic, but it also feels like a dystopian future at the same time. The record itself comes in at about an hour, but feels very cohesive, despite the several twists and turns taken throughout each of these tracks. As I’ve said, there are slight vocal pieces which I don’t feel are truly necessary for the piece as it works far better as an atmosphere, especially with as much depth and variety as is captured here. Mekigah did not choose to go in a very simplistic fashion, which might make the release a bit more than some might want to swallow. Yet having heard several upon several records that do take this simple approach, it’s nice to hear something that thinks out of the box and delivers the same mood while expanding ideas throughout.

Not everything comes off perfectly however, and some songs make me wonder as to whether or not the static that I’m hearing in certain sections was actually intended for the release. But that’s a minor complaint really, especially when you take into account everything that has been achieved here in well over an hour. It’s chilling, but can be quite beautiful in all of it’s mystery. As a matter of fact, I feel almost disappointed in myself that I’ve waited so long to review such a refreshing atmospheric release such as Litost and it is literally unlike anything I’ve reviewed here to date, even from our friends at Malignant Records. As much as I love cold industrial approaches, something that adds a nice Gothic touch coupled with a hint of fear and perhaps even a hint of mesmerism seems to ascend to a much higher stratagem and proves it’s worth in spades. Unlike a vast majority of these kinds of releases, I actually feel that I’ll need to listen to Litost more than a couple of times in order to fully grasp it, and it’s a record worth really delving into, as each track feels like it’s own separate tunnel in what I could only described as a deep, musical catacomb of emotion.

(10 Tracks, 51:00)

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