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Boxset / Compilation · 2017


1. The Great Filter (21:33)
2. Type III (18:40)

Total Time 40:13


- . / Vocals
- . / Other

About this release

Format: Digital
Label: Avantgarde Music
Release date: January 26th, 2017

Thanks to adg211288 for the addition


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

The Great Filter/Type III (2017) is a compilation release by the Australian atmospheric black metal duo Mesarthim. It consists of two lengthy tracks that were released separately during the tail-end of 2016 as digital only releases. Italian label Avantgarde Music, who has released the physical copies of Mesarthim's other work, has now grouped them together into one forty minute long release.

I've reviewed the two EP's separately before, so if you follow my writing you may have read the next parts of this review before. Having reviewed them I wasn't originally going to review this compilation but I've decided it can't hurt to promote this great band a bit more.

The Great Filter:

Not content with dropping their second full-length album .- -... ... . -. -.-. . (2016) (Absence) and before that the EP's Pillars (2016) and Spire (2016), this year, Australia's enigmatic black metal duo Mesarthim are back again with another new release. The Great Filter (2016), another EP, features a single song, the band's longest track to date at 21:33 in length.

Having come away from Absence a bit disappointed given how much I like Mesarthim's debut album Isolate (2015), and by extension the very similar Pillars EP, The Great Filter finds me appreciating their work a bit more again. Still producing black metal of the cosmic variety this long track moves through various different black metal moods and even some softer sections. At one time you'll hear some spacey synths. At another there's some quite direct guitar riffs for atmospheric black metal. Another time the synths will even sound a bit techno. Then there's a section when it all noticeably speeds up. Then it goes symphonic. Later on there's a bit of Morse Code, a little throwback to the prior album no doubt. On paper it may sound as a load of little smaller ideas thrown together as one track but hey, it works and easily comes across as their most adventurous composition to date. The vocals are the usual indiscernible growl that I'm used to hearing from Mesarthim by this point. Impossible to follow, but their tortured style has always worked well with the blackened atmospheric metal they play and they got back a bit of the majestic feel of Isolate here without rehashing that album and that's definitely a plus.

The Great Filter has brought Mesarthim way back up in my estimations after I didn't enjoy Absence as much as I'd hoped to and I definitely find it to be the best of the Mesarthim 2016 releases up until this point...

Type III:

...Just ten days after the release of the EP The Great Filter (2016) and Australia's enigmatic black metal duo Mesarthim are back already with yet another EP release. TYPE III (2016) is the band's sixth release this year and like it's predecessor sees Mesarthim delivering a single long composition, only a little shorter than the last one at 18:40 in length.

It may initially look as if TYPE III is another exercise in the same sort of thing that Mesarthim did on The Great Filter but this is actually quite a different track within the band's atmospheric black metal spectrum. It feels more structured compared to the chopping and changing ideas of The Great Filter and actually reminds me a bit more of the band's debut album Isolate (2015), especially with the way the synths are used. The guitars, like a bit of the previous EP, take a very direct role in this track though and don't just provide a raw lo-fi atmosphere, but actually bring a surprisingly classic metal feel to parts of the song. There's less different sounds than The Great Filter and you're more likely to hear ideas make a reappearance in this track but as but much as The Great Filter worked I can't help but like TYPE III a whole lot more. I'd go as far to say that it may even be Mesarthim's best track to date.

I certainly didn't expect another Mesarthim release so soon after The Great Filter so they may even surprise us with another release before the year is out the way they are going. But as is I've definitely found the band's EP releases to be more worthwhile this year than the full-length album and despite earlier words in my reviews about The Great Filter being the best Mesarthim 2016 release up until this point the band have quickly supplanted it. Is this it or will they do it again?


Ultimately Type III did mark the end of Mesarthim's 2016 releases, but with the speed the band works I wouldn't be too surprised to see this year deliver a lot more than this compilation. Both the late 2016 EP's were very recommendable releases and now joined on one CD it's going to be the best time ever to pick them up.

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