Some albums just need to be experienced and tend to defy description, and Ageless by Hesychast is one of those as their atmospheric black metal is both disruptive and peaceful at the same time.
Hesychast, member of a movement dedicated to contemplation, originating among the Orthodox monks of Mount Athos in the 14th century, characterized by a practice of prayer seeking union with God beyond our senses and understanding. The word originates from the Greek for “stillness” the band describes the practice as seeking “to encounter the Lord in a more intimate fashion and to set the heart in constant prayer, even while at work with other things.” Given that, it seems like this would not necessarily fit will with metal but when you delve into atmospheric black metal, this does make sense. The album itself clocks in around forty minutes which provides a good bit of time for songs to meander about and establish moods. “Волны Смерти” starts off the album and wastes no time setting the tone once the music starts. For those aficionados of black metal, the guitar and blast beats are a give away as to what awaits. The overall tone and pacing of the music identifies it immediately, even if the overall sound is a bit subdued. The raspy growled, near shriek vocals are perfect black metal as well and again, instantly recognizable. The song has the potential to be very disruptive, but comes across almost quiet and relaxing, near peaceful, which is not your typical response to black metal, but this is more atmospheric in nature, reminding me a bit of Vials of Wrath (highly recommended). The song does get a bit more stripped down and a male choral section of melodious chant takes over, nearly overpowering the guitars and drums.