Through the Eye of the Immortal
At first acquaintance, Inhale the Sacred Poison can be quite a difficult listen. With virtually no melodies to grasp onto, Folge Dem Wind's second effort will certainly take some dedication and focused listening sessions to fully understand. Even after a solid 5 run-throughs (the number I've given as I write this review), I still feel like I have even more to learn about this album. Inhale the Sacred Poison is a raw, often dissonant, and frequently cacophonic, experimental black metal outing that will unquestionably take some time for the average listener to understand. Although Folge Dem Wind's second full-length is inaccessible at first, don't at all mistake that with the actual quality of the music. This is a strikingly original, and at times groundbreaking, album that is filled with strokes of genius. There are some unremarkable sections throughout Inhale the Sacred Poison's 50 minute duration, but it's a generally strong effort from a band with tons of potential.
The music on Inhale the Sacred Poison is experimental, occasionally avant-garde, sounding black metal (not unlike fellow Frenchmen Deathspell Omega). There's some jazzy sections (even including saxophone soloing), as well as mellow acoustic sections and epic progressive portions. This is an eclectic album, and an unfortunate byproduct of that is a tad of inconsistency. The amount of dissonant riffs and eclectic song structures that occupy Inhale the Sacred Poison can really make for a difficult listen at first, but (thankfully) the album did grow on me over time. The musicians on Inhale the Sacred Poison are generally excellent - Folge Dem Wind is a tight-playing unit with plenty of talent. The vocals are usually in the typical black metal-style, with a few "weird" sounds and clean singing sections.
The production is pretty raw, but still contains a nice level of polish and professionalism. This isn't the most revolutionary mix you'll ever hear in a black metal record, but it gets the job done.
Harsh and dissonant avant-garde black metal like this is generally a mixed bag for me, so you could say that I've been pleasantly surprised by Inhale the Sacred Poison. This took many listens for me to appreciate (and it will probably take a dozen more before I can confidently say that I "get it"), but the trip was well-worth it. Folge Dem Wind's second full-length is lacking a bit in the consistency department, but it shows a band with an adventurous attitude and original sound - that certainly doesn't go unnoticed by me. Inhale the Sacred Poison is a favorable 3.5 stars from this reviewer - any fan of avant garde black metal is advised to check this out.
1. Inhale The Sacred Poison (9:21)
2. Of Blood and Ether (4:55)
3. Behind The Grey Veil (7:07)
4. Through the Eye of the Immortal (6:28)
5. Of Reptilian Fires (5:08)
6. Awakening in Unity (7:20)
7. Of Primordial Whirlwind (3:19)
8. Of Bloody Hands and Mocking Stars (6:20)