Dear reader, I am incredibly excited to be writing this post and to get the absolute honor and pleasure to premiere what is, in my opinion, one of 2023's best albums. Not only is DISSECTING A ONE-WINGED BIRD an excellent album, but it is also the culmination of A Constant Knowledge of Death's career, a career we have been following closely on the blog from 2015.
If you recall, what started as a great post-metal band has transformed through various iterations into a powerhouse of creativity, including the four releases of 2019 which saw them experiment with a different genre on each one. Therefore, it was impossible for us to tell where they would go next, which is why I was giddy to listen to DISSECTING A ONE-WINGED BIRD a few weeks ago. What I heard was absolutely the magnum-opus of this project, an angry, heavy as all hell, interesting, and supremely composed album. And now you get to listen to it too! Head on down below to do just that.
It's impossible to choose where to start, but start we must. Maybe we'll start with the first track (duh), "BREACH GLASS HORIZON", and the beautiful balance between the absolute, uncompromising fury of its first four minutes and the delicate moroseness of its quieter, middle passage. Then, perhaps we shall alight on the guttural brutality of the vocals and slow guitar riff of "SPEAK III" and the crushing backing tracks which accompany it, recalling the group's experimentation with doom and industrial back in 2019. From there, there is the unstoppable onslaught of progressive rage that is "BLEED FOR YOU", the album's most direct and most punishing track, channeling all of the boiling energies that run this album into little under two minutes of buzzsaw violence.
Lastly, inadvertently, carried in by the final notes to "BLEED FOR YOU", as they blend perfectly into its intro, we shall be drawn to the self-titled track which closes the album, to me the best piece of music this band has ever created. Listen to the intricate, fractalizing riffs which open the track. Wait for the track's complexity to increase, finally reaching catharsis on the beautiful flugelhorn and violin which lie at its heart (yes, there's flugelhorn and violin on this album) and then the absolutely heart-shattering scream (to which, by the way, I contributed my amateurish vocals as well) which ushers in the track's slowly unravelling outro and the end of the album.
When the silence finally alights on DISSECTING A ONE-WINGED BIRD, we might realize that everything that A Constant Knowledge of Death have been experimenting with over the years is present on this release. There's the melancholy of their more ambient projects, the metallic puissance of their industrial dalliances, and the progressive, twisted, shattered, and angry remnants of their thrash and death metal sojourns. In short, there is a world and then some on this release, one of 2023's most carefully constructed exercises in derision and artistic resistance. This album bleeds metal. Stop reading my words, go listen to it, and then pre-order it right here.