Epitimia – (Un)reality

Double CD’s are a hard thing to tackle not only because the length is twice as long but because the artist often has a much broader, more complete vision of their project.  Like many Hypnotic Dirge artists before them, Epitima have attempted to experiment with black metal with many other non-metal genres such as trip hop, post rock, and electro.  As you can imagine, this is a huge endeavor especially when trying to make all these genres work in cohesion with each other instead of feeling fragmented and broken.  Have they accomplished their tremendous goal?  Will they survive the dread nachtbeast of the half-void?  Will they find love after all?  Stay tuned for more.


To really emphasize how hard this bad boy was to review, the double CD totals over 112 minutes so nearly two hours of trying to stay focused and tuned all the nuances they have to offer.  Not that this is an excuse of a review, but that this was probably harder for Epitimia in accomplishing their vision and maintaining cohesion with all the genres they desired to experiment with.  With that said, it probably would have been better to keep it at one CD.  It’s really hard to digest all that Epitimia has to offer.  Imagine having gone to your local Chinese buffet and just got too excited to try all the wild dishes and later, it hurts to do anything and you’re in a perpetual food coma/nap for the next few hours.  The food’s in your belly – the fried shrimp, the Szechuan chicken, cream cheese wontons, green tea, and the sweet buns are all hitting your digestive system at the same time and you know might as well have invested in a seat belt for your toilet because it is going to be a bumpy ride.  If this makes any sense, this is the same feeling with (Un)reality.  The album gets too scrambled and at some moments a bit too hectic when trying to go from black metal to trip hop or from post rock to jazz.  While every morsel is delicious and you want to try everything, you realize in retrospect that it might not be worth it.  A lot of the ideas here are great but perhaps the less well-imagined riffs and transitions should have just been left out or reworked and saved for their next release.  The tremolo picking especially seems to be rehashed a bit too much.  Hell, if you’re going to include all these genres, you’re allowed to get a bit wild with some riffs.


With that out of the way, (Un)reality is divided into “Delusion,” the first CD, and “Illusion,” the second, which essentially divides the album from 80% ambient black metal with Delusion and 50-65% ambient black metal with Illusion.  Some other reviews of (Un)reality deemed Delusion their favorite of the two but Illusion is where the fun is at.  The experimentation is much more fluid and the atmosphere is much more refined.  Songs like “A Flash Before Death,”  “Illusion IV – Reflection,” “Illusion – VII Catharsis,” and “Rebirth” define Illusion as a fantastic CD and as the winner.  Though their is preference for Illusion, Delusion has songs like “Birth,” “Delusion I – Escapism,” and “Metanoia” that are also fantastic.


We gentlemen over at Deaf Sparrow love Hypnotic Dirge Records and encourage as much as we can to show this label some love.  Without labels like this, artists that explore genre territories that years ago were thought to be absurd are given the exposure and resources they deserve.  To make things even more wonderful, they currently have all of their releases for “Name Your Price.”  Show them love pls.


Epitimia Official Facebook

Written by Cole Olson

Epitimia – (Un)Reality
Hypnotic Dirge Records
4 / 5