ATTEST- Proceeding the Path of Forlorn Afflictions
This delightfully bleak EP was released late last year, but flew under the radar. For those who don’t know, Attest is a side project of Abated Mass of Flesh member Zach Plunkett, and was released on his own Caustic Hymn Productions.
Stylistically here we have a fusion of raw, bleak black metal with some atmospheric/blackgaze elements. This is really interesting stuff. It’s mid-paced to slower for black metal, but sorrowful and bleak as just about anything out there. It might appeal to fans of early Light Shall Prevail (before they morphed into Njiqahdda) or Anima Mortuum without the synths.
Lyrics point to struggles with the flesh, doubt, and dark emotions, and while there are hints at faith, Proceeding offers no explicit statements. I’d describe it as more questions than answers. Take lead track “Crowding Within the Mind of Pale Aspirations” for example:
“There is a hopeful intolerance
To keep me from the pain
That inflicts my purpose
Every second is a subtle reminder
Of the man I used to be
Step by step
Onward towards a new self
But damn this chain around my neck”
The 5-song EP clocks in right around 22 minutes and is only available as a digital download directly from Caustic Hymn. (Caustic Hymn Productions) 4 Out of 5 Stars