Stagnant Waters - Stagnant Waters

Stagnant Waters

Stagnant Waters

01. Algae
02. ССАЕР ЦНАПЯЛ ПНОИ ТАТ
03. Of Salt and Water
04. Castles
05. Concrete
06. Bandaged In Suicide Notes
07. Axolotl
08. From the Breaking Neck to Infinity

[10/29/12]
[Adversum]

Well, we have a truly weird thing here. Stagnant Waters are a French/Norwegian avant-garde metal band, and if one were to describe the sound of this band, the best explanation would be “pure chaos”. Actually, a better word for it would be “dadaism”. Chaos implies lack of structure, whereas dadaism is a deliberate disregard for any sort of form, convention or appeal. Stagnant Waters are as avant-garde as it gets, and their self-titled debut album walks the line between brilliant and insane. Actually, it’s completely batshit insane but one can’t help but wonder how anyone can construct such a thing and not be a mad genius.

Well, what does it sound like? Stagnant Waters sounds like ugly, dirty noise. What does this package contain? Black metal. Breakcore. Grind. Chiptunes. Hardcore. Noisecore. Free jazz. Piano. Anguished yelling vocals. Glitch. Post-black metal. Orchestration. There are moments when it resembles metalcore. Or death metal. Autotune. Saxophone. Had enough already? As you’ve probably gathered by now, Stagnant Waters isn’t for the light-hearted or closed-minded. It will be an immediate turnoff for most. Trying to describe it in terms that a broader audience can understand is an exercise in futility, but the closest thing would be Norway’s Shining meets Anaal Nathrakh meets your worst nightmares performed by a haunted keyboard. That doesn’t even come close to covering it, but it will have to do. It’s impossible to understand this album without listening to it in its entirety. This might sound pretentious, but there has to be some amount of pretense in this sort of music, considering it is designed to be unpleasant and outside boundaries. Not only is it abrasive and uncomfortable, it is also genuinely disturbing. So disturbing, in fact, that I was unable to sleep when I listened to it right before I went to bed.

The key thing is that mostly, it works. The album is never boring, and it doesn’t fail to take a receptive listener away to a weird, dark, depressing place. There’s always something new going on, and it’s constantly engaging. The production doesn’t leave anything to be desired, as it’s very gritty, but in the right way. It’s hard to say something is good when it’s supposed to be totally orthogonal to any sort of convention, but the fact that Stagnant Waters is so dense, so unique and unpleasant that… it’s oddly pleasant. If you’re looking for the most avant-garde of music, you can do no wrong by listening to this. Most people might think this is absolute garbage, but for the hardcore avant-garde enthusiast, this is a goldmine.

Stagnant Waters – Stagnant Waters gets…

4.5/5

– NT