Album Review: Fall of Gnosis – Deathlike Illusion

Album Review: Fall of Gnosis - Deathlike Illusion
Reviewed by Dan Barnes

If one were to check out the dictionary definition of Workaholic then a picture of South Carolina’s Justin Vølus would be front and centre. Not content with having something to do with nine current bands, including contributing vocals to Flesh Configuration and Maggot Crown, Out of the Mouth of Graves and Sigh of Defeat, and musical accompaniment to Morgue Walker and Void Blight, the twenty-nine-year-old has just put out the work of a new project, Fall of Gnosis, featuring him and him alone.

Deathlike Illusion is the debut EP from this endeavour, released on his own, Vargheist Records and featuring three tracks of unsettling, atmospheric blackened doom metal. Reminiscent of The Axis of Perdition and Blut Aus Nord, the title track oozes with eerie dissonance and otherworldly accompaniments.

Album Review: Fall of Gnosis - Deathlike Illusion

The seemingly unfettered chords add a cloying sadness to the piece, taking the listener on the kind of uncomfortable journey last ridden in Deleted Scenes from the Transition Hospital or MoRT. Justin’s gravelly vocals are deep and resonating, spitting bile within a tortured voice. The guitars howl and twist themselves into impossible forms, though the most unnerving sound they make comes on Escape to Ascension, when they are heard to chug in a more traditional manner.

The instrumental work, Nightmare Convulsions, begins with a sound so heavy as to have its own gravitational field, but manages to blend in a haunting, post metal vibe and the cosmic sound of galaxies colliding, or new stars being formed.

At barely twenty-minutes in length, Deathlike Illusion feels like it can make time stand still. A combination of avant-garde post black metal and psychedelic doom means here is a record designed to be explored. For those brave enough to take up the challenge, be warned; there are creatures lurking within these notes the like of which only Lovecraft could conjure.

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