Having the excellent Scottish black metal combo Barshasketh team up with Poland’s sinister and experimental outfit Outre is a brilliant move. We are talking about two strong musical entities who have both perfected their own sound and style of otherworldly black metal by means of great releases that ooze quality and class. Both bands possess the ability to transport the listener to the odd corners of his or her own mind, which is obviously a compliment. Not that many black metal hordes out there come close to what the big boys from Barshasketh and Outre have managed to conjure up, musically and lyrically speaking.That is not an opinion, but a fact.
Focusing on and exploring renowned German philosopher Martin Heideggers ‘Being and Time’, the lyrical content is obviously of importance when discussing this superb split release. While Barshasketh’s nearly eight-minute-long epic (‘Being’) revolves around the idea of attaining purpose of life in a world that is utterly devoid of objective truth and meaning, Outres composition (‘Time’) elaborates on the idea that the core of our very being is expressed through time and that the past, the present, and future are all basically one. We are dealing with existence, historicity, mortality, and temporal being here. Should you find yourself in need of a much better and more elaborate explanation of Heidegger’s philosophical work, please consult either Wikipedia or your nearest University professor.
The songs that constitute Sein/Zeit have meaning, depth, and substance to them. They are also dynamic and varied yet focused and disciplined. While certain parts are aggressive, fast-paced, and utterly breathtaking, is is the slightly slower and more bombastic sections that truly pierce the mind and feel so wonderfully soul-crushing to immerse oneself in. At times it feels almost overwhelming to listen to these tracks. Barshasketh’s vocalist Krigeist sounds like a man possessed, or rather, he sounds haunting and haunted. There is at times a strong sense of melancholy present in ‘Being’ by Barshasketh while ‘Time’ by Outre is more oppressive, fiery, and intense, but the pieces complement each other beautifully. The third track (and second by Outre) is a surprisingly good and compelling cover version of Armagedda’s ‘Only True Believers’. It is not as absorbing and mindblowing as the other cuts, but still very cool.
Regardless of whether we are discussing Barshasketh or Outre, the musicianship is stellar and their ability to craft tunes that are as challenging and unpredictable as they are memorable and moody is admirable and inspiring. The fact that the production values are stunning does not hurt either. Sein/Zeit is anything but run-of-the-mill black metal and comes highly recommended, especially for all you lovers of MGLA, Deathspell Omega, Kriegsmaschine, Medico Peste, and the likes. Make sure you get your filthy paws on this 12 vinyl release.