Atmospheric black metal can be instantly engaging. Unlike its stylistic cousins, atmospheric black metal has a dramatic sound and aesthetic that most people could see themselves enjoying. This has lead to a flooded market of bedroom productions stacked high to the ceiling. While it is daunting that this musical style is so popular, certain music shines through these pillars of demos and self released digital EPs. For music to do this however, it must be highly engaging and powerful. Ad Infinitum is the work of one man from Kentucky with no discernible connection to any other metal project. I know I just made mention of all those bedroom black metal releases but Woven Within is something demands its own attention, even if you are not already a fan of deep astral black metal.
First of all, I am using the album artwork displayed on Bandcamp, as I feel the black and white depiction of a dance ritual is much more striking than what in the hell is on the original cover. Regardless, Ad Infinitum has the ability to strike the right mood forcefully with a twelve inch blade. From cover to instrumental interludes, Woven Within is near perfect in its attempt to transport the listener to the darkest reaches of time and space. While the vocals are near discernible, the moody synth and guitar work are more than willing to provide engaging music for the song lengths. This is something deep atmospheric black metal sometimes forgets. To justify the length of time ones music has to be interesting, or at least hypnotic. Woven Within does both with an album that is somewhere between serene and horrifying.
Ad Infinitum is for fans of atmospheric black metal. The music retains a sharp, dark edge that is sometimes lost in the more melodic varieties of the genre. Much like Paysage D’Hiver, Mare, Cognitum, and Darkspace, Ad Infinitum slots in with music fitting of an alien horror. I appreciate this exploration of themes not commonly found in black metal. Sometimes the unknowable expanse that lays just over our heads can be filled with infinite mysteries and unknowable terrors. The album’s closing 12 minute synthscape is something that is as unnerving as the preceding record of black metal. Woven Within is a surprising triumph from a place not known for its cosmic music.