Olatom Amespïrïa - Demo 3 (Self-released)

I was shamefully late to the bittersweet, crepuscular timbres of Olatom Amespïrïa. Even worse, I couldn’t review this third demo before their bundled releases under the Ruinéfables account disappeared from Bandcamp. Maybe the move owed something to the band’s parting ways with the raw meloblack innovators in the Cërcle Mortüaire, but either way, I’m thankful I bought it all and got to guzzle down every last drop of Olatom Amespïrïa's playful abrasion—which hits like cold orange soda on a muggy summer day. This most recent Demo 3 proved the most consistent and ornate iteration of what is at once a very esoteric, bare-bones, and of-its-moment black metal (BM) sound. It’s not your typical sampler: it’s a full-length freak-out that flashes exuberant angst, wondrous disappointment, and the unadulterated truth of someone feeling really loud with a drum kit, two guitar tracks, and the rasp of their own voice.

Over a bit more than a year's worth of operation, the anonymous France-to-Portland expat behind Olatom Amespïrïa has managed to scribble together a DIY mystique akin to that of their countryman Asthâghul. Even the artwork on the other demos flaunts the same wobbly but committed spiritualism that characterizes so much of Esoctrilihum’s more stripped-down, self-released work. And yet, if EPs like F’htansg, Saopth’s, and Yi​ä​hle​ï​f'​ä​m sound like they’re being sermonized on a river-raft tour through hell’s lower levels, Olatom Amespïrïa adulate a more uplifting sublime. The major intervals opening “Stardust Crusader'' bridge the divide between Kaatayra’s palm-muted acrobatics and Obsequiae’s layers of six-string devotionalism. Cuts like “Taversée en Clair Obscure” and “Fugue etoffée de songes majeurs” also dabble in the emo angst, dilated song structures, and coastal-sunset color palette of pre- and Ordinary Corrupt Human Love-era Deafheaven—without any of the pretense. If anything, this demo’s appeal arises from its deep focus on the many organic gradations between different shades of BM and post-rock. It makes a vibrant high point for Olatom Amespïrïa, with an unpredictably easygoing but aggressive mood that calls to mind Best Coast lecturing on  गौतम बुद्ध’s peripatetic philosophy. Honestly, I never thought I’d hear bedroom BM suitable for the Orange County teens at the Bait Shop, but without ever seeming like too much, there’s enough feels here for a network-TV melodrama. Whether or not that’s your thing, it’s one hell of an achievement—and maybe even a contender. Don’t miss out.