Ellorsith- “1959”

Ellorsith 1959

Sometimes a tape shows up and everything is revealed. Caligari Records often prides itself on finding undiscovered talent and shining a light on it. In the case of Ellorsith, however, there is no real revelation. The music, which focuses on the mysterious Dyatlov Pass incident in 1959, is a fitting offering for this enigmatic project. Real life atrocities, mysteries, and events are often far more fascinating and original for lyrical inspiration than fantastical images of suffering or Satanic torment, so this occasion of disappearance and death instantly adds to the intrigue of this release. However, 1959 would not be worth a listen if the subject matter were the only source of appeal. Indeed, this tape delivers everything one would want.

The album’s brief introduction sounds like the opening of a gateway to something evil, something meant to be sealed away. Solemn chanting and earthen ambiance lead to a brief monologue (in Russian, it seems) before giving way to the fury of “Susurration.” The dense black/death hybrid Ellorsith creates here is not easily assigned to a given movement or style here, yet holds an atmosphere instantly recognizable to serious metal fanatics. You can practically hear the flurry wind and snow bearing down as you make your ascent. Croaked vocals conjure an otherworldly narrative, much in the vein of Demilich, but with a slightly more buried mix. Instead of omnipotent utterances, the vocals come through the haze with great effort, allowing the subtle yet effective songwriting to remain dominant. While this group remains anonymous, the cassette jacket lists four sets of initials, giving hope that live performances will occur. The atmosphere is heavy and the tunes, while well suited for thoughtful headphone sessions at night with a strong drink, seem designed to overwhelm an audience of unsuspecting listeners. The dreadful drop just before the halfway mark in “Marasmus” lurches just long enough to instill anxiety and fear, allowing the following guitar lead and quickening of pace to feel even more smothering and volatile. The shifting of mood is what makes this release as strong as it is, especially with the massive swelling and unearthly melodies of lumbering closer “Compelling Natural Force.” Every feeling Ellorsith conjures during 1959‘s brief run is well crafted and stays just as long as necessary. Density and repetition are often balanced by well integrated melodies that neither clean up nor tarnish the overall sound and the drumming is just as often merciless as it is tasteful and precisely timed.

With a theme like this, it’s not likely this album could have gone on much longer, but 1959 displays a knack for songwriting that will hopefully lend itself well to a full-length release in the future. With chops and atmosphere of this nature, Ellorsith’s relative anonymity will likely only add to the intrigue and appeal. Fans will clamor for this soon enough, as evidenced by the fact that this tape sold out before I could even throw this review together. Still, if you’re intrigued by what you hear, you can download it for the price you see fit. Keep an eye on both Caligari Records and Ellorsith. Let’s hope something great comes soon. This release may stand on its own, but I’m really hoping it’s just a taster for what’s to come.