German black/death trio Finis arrive in ghostly form without name or face. Postulating the value of letting their music speak for itself with minimalist art and symbolism, this increasingly common ethos among modern black metal artists is typically incongruous with musicians who otherwise create confrontational extreme metal art. With no humanity beyond sparse, specter-like images to connect with ‘Visions of Doom’ they avoid assumption, as well as any association with past projects, and achieve a very simple faceless identity. I both appreciate and grow bored of this approach as it fights the hype machine that feeds them but also mildly disorients any introduction to their art. Despite my pointless ranting, Finis are exactly as minimalist as their raw artwork and ghoulish photos suggest.
The diffuse black metal lurch of Finis’ ‘At One With Nothing’ (2016) demo, also included on the MCD version of ‘Visions of Doom’, shows an adherence to the most primal affectations of raw black metal as a mix of early Darkthrone with some ventures into the slower paced, atmospheric guitar work of Inquisition. The guitarist was serving a heap of wobbling slop and the majority of the demo felt intentionally ham-fisted; Not unlike Flame Acausal‘s 2016 demo ‘Contra Mundum in Aeternum’ but with a distinct Norwegian sensibility. ‘Visions of Doom’ cuts out the predictable raw black metal style in favor of building upon the project’s atmospheric strengths.
Because they play a fairly standard form of black metal, I wouldn’t say Finis hit upon anything remotely profound on this EP until the title track. The bass guitar presence begins to chime in as a great bell of warning of things to come and whomever played/composed these parts offers a vital addition to an otherwise bland song. “Fosforos” balances the nigh ‘modern orthodoxy’ and occult black metal dreariness of “11 Temple Stones” with what amounts to a black metal version of Cave-In‘s most reticent atmospherics. ‘Visions of Doom’ is a conceptual rendering of atmospherics that doesn’t fully stick their landing. They’re getting there and in some ways this appears to represent the dueling ambitions of occult groups like Har and the raw side of early Craft. I like where Finis are headed with their sound but ‘Vision of Doom’ is a relatively small step towards the potential of their vision.
|Released||July 6, 2018|
|BUY/LISTEN on Iron Bonehead Productions’ Bandcamp!||Finis on Metal-Archives|
The inconvenient horizon. 2.75/5.0
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