When I first hit play on Dessiderium (thanks, Josh!) I had no idea that it was the side/one man project of Alex Hadad, who also plays in the excellent Nullingroots. But what I did know is that I loved it from the very first second. Dessiderium’s Shadow Burn sounds like Dimmu Borgir seen through a broken, inter-dimensional mirror. The project does’t waste any time in slamming you in the face with massive riffs, large, pronounced, unapologetic synth lines and an overall progressive tendency which blends the entire thing into one whirling, swirling whole. OK, you know what, just head on down below and hit play and listen for yourself.

Right?! Where to even begin. While the self-titled opening track certainly wastes no time in getting started with its instrumentation, it’s somewhere after the middle of the track that things really change. Namely, the synth tones, which were already very electronic and metallic to begin with, becoming downright 80’s in their timbre, echoing synthpop or darkwave productions and sounds. Somehow, this works incredibly well with the main guitar riffs and drums, which paint a decidedly black metal picture. And since the overall track structure is complex and non-linear, the well established moniker of symphonic black metal just doesn’t cut it here. This is progressive symphonic black metal, if you’ll even suffer such a mouthful.

And that’s all before tracks like “Soul Bursting”, where the guitars are even more technical and adventurous. And this is all before I’ve heard the full thing, which I assume contains more of these mind-bending combinations. I guess I’ll just have to see for myself along with the rest of you, when Shadow Burn drops, tomorrow. For now, I’ll hang on to the snippets I have, spinning them over and over again in the hours that remain before I can dive into the full thing.