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(Godz Ov War/Third Eye Temple)

jools green

Jools Green

au dessus

Lithuania is not a place I immediately think of when considering Metal excellence, until now. This self titled debut EP from post black Metal Lithuanian quartet Au-Dessus has changed my thoughts completely.

It's a five track offering spanning thirty minutes of breathtaking listening and the tracks are simply numbered I – V. Soundwise it's heavy, blackened, with a rich atmosphere and a strong progressive, at times even psychedelic edge, along with a distorted sound to the guitars.

The vocals are hugely varied, ranging from high screams to lower harsh growls, they aren't overly legible but in this instance it really doesn't matter too much, they are so expressive in their delivery, it's more about the overall atmosphere. The drum work is flowing and organic in its delivery and the finished product not over worked or over complex, the result is an excellent sound.

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'I' opens strongly, building on dark distorted riffing, overlaid by lighter backing vocals taking a full minute of the two and a bit minutes duration to reach their zenith, then, the main body of vocals kick in and immediately you experience the utterly breathtaking extent of Mantas vocal capabilities as he unleashes his full range and ferocity in just one minute, at this point I am completely won over, good vocals are everything and in this release they are in abundance.

A slower, darker approach is taken for nine minute offering 'II', a haunting repeat overlaid by a low growl, works its hypnotic effects on you, the growls build with the intensity of the riffing, maintaining that hypnotic repeat pattern, the vocals switching to manic screams, just before half way the tempo switches and pulsating riffs continue to build alongside some well varied drum work. At mid-point this track drops in tempo deep growls, taking on a dark progressive edge with some rather good latter part cleans alongside the brutal vocals; an utterly superb track.

au dessus

On 'III' a hauntingly, hypnotic extended opener of distorted riffling becomes melodic with the arrival of the vocal growls and snarls, but a poignant pause just after midway heralds a complete mood change with spiralling and soaring riffs and vocal screams over a layer of distorted guitar work.

'IV' is dark, distorted and doom laden as it opens, taking on a slow but punchy edge to the riffs but there is a sudden rise in pace as the tortuous vocals kick in and again you get the full range including some spoken, still largely indecipherable, yet very intriguing vocals; a hugely atmospheric, disturbing and excellent track.

Final track 'V' has a crushing, dark opener with slow guitar work layered with faster, dirty riffing becoming more intense as the tempo picks up, with a hypnotic repeat garnished with swathes of manic vocals. The tempo continues to build, in the second half reverting to more of a oppressive and dirty doom feel towards the close but without the tempo dropping all the way back down.

'Au-Dessus' is five faultless tracks that make a superb listen and given the mere thirty minute duration it makes sense to listen all over again.

The cover design and layout is by This superb release is available in a range of formats;

A limited MC from Godz Ov War/Third Eye Temple at or CD/LP or digital download from

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