After a lengthy wait, The Meads Of Asphodel are finally back, with a brand new dose of chaos and intrigue. After chronicling events of the holocaust in Sonderkommando, The Metatron and J.D. Tait have worked on a not so new concept, focusing on the topics of both death and hatred. Some of you might wager that this sounds like just another day at the office for these guys, but this time the messages are even more relevant as we are in an age where hate seems to be at the forefront of the world’s stage, so much that it has even found its way into the metal scene, where hatred has always been quite pleasant. The difference though, as the Metatron will explain in a coming interview is that are different kinds of hate and perhaps those might create radicalized people who could cause a massive amount of trouble for all of us in the future. Some might say that they’re already doing this, small a number as they may be. In fact, I was saying to myself yesterday, “where are all these Nazi’s they’re talking about?” I was beginning to think it was an Iron Sky situation, where the Nazis had taken refuge on the moon and were transmitting messages to people on the dark web through satellite signals or something. Maybe they’re hiding in my bushes. Behind the shed? In the water closet? Ah, I think I know where those little bastards are hiding – My closet! But there’s only a bunch of clothes in here, so I have no idea why people are so frightened. But I really should have donated a few of these shirts years ago.
Despite not knowing where the Nazi’s are hiding these days (maybe the earth is hollow as Greg Carlwood theorized and they’ve got bases there?) and whether or not I should be prepared to battle them should they come marching out of my commode, I have to say that fans of The Meads Of Asphodel’s work will be quite pleased this time around. As always, there are many genre infusions, from electronica to acoustic folk and even some trippy prog instances. There are even female vocals present on “Like Blood Shaped Flakes Of Snow” that remind me of The Project Hate, before they became monotonous. If “Recollections Of A Loom Hand-Weaver” doesn’t put you into a zone where psychedelics may be useful, then “I Stood Tiptoe, Reaching Up For Heaven” surely will. There’s also the wonderful welcoming in “Bug Splat” which is prime quality for these guys. A little bit of jazz can also be found on closing number, “Souvenir Of Death” which seems to invoke a bit of a trance. If that wasn’t interesting enough, there are also some disco influences on “Black Is Black & White Is White” Perhaps this is not something you would expect for these guys, but The Meads Of Asphodel have always played outside of the box and I think this is something that more bands should be trying to do. They’ve transcended metal in several ways, but you’ll still hear plenty of it – the black metal influences that have been there since the band’s debut (which is quite great and should be reissued, since everyone else is polishing their old albums and re-releasing them) are still quite prominent; though definitely beefed up with glorious synth performances and decorative guitar melodies that launch into brilliant guitar solos. It’s great to hear a good solo, especially in every song ever made; which is what I would do if I had my own universe to manage. Additionally, there are more clean sections overall on this album, which even includes The Metratron himself in some areas. Please keep in mind that Running Out Of Time Doing Nothing is not your garden variety black metal album and it will take far more than one listen to grasp it completely. There are several unique blends of styles and atmospheres in play here and I feel that people who truly love experimental and out of the box music will certainly love it. Especially a certain section on the record where news clips are intertwined with laugh tracks, an idea that I feel is as genius as the band itself. I’m quite convinced that The Meads Of Asphodel have outdone themselves here and I didn’t even think that was humanly possible from what I’ve heard prior.
(11 Tracks, 64:00)