Mitochondrion‘s Parasignosis is their second full length effort. Seeing how their first album, Archaeaeon, was praised and the comparisons of their music to various other death metal acts that I happened to like, I knew that this was one album that I had to check out.
The album opens with a haunting and low pitched chanting intro at the background of the instruments on Plague Evockation (Pestilentiam Intus Vocamus, Voluntatem Absolvimus Part I), setting the dark and ritual-like atmosphere that will continue throughout the entire album. The second part of this 3 part song, Lex Ego Exitium (Pestilentiam Intus Vocamus, Voluntatem Absolvimus Part II) continues with the song slowing down to a doom-ish pace before speeding up again as the song ends, continuing to build on the climax that was already set up by the first track. The full power of the band is unleashed as the final instalment of the song begins, with the deep guttural growls that are backed by the heavy chugging of the guitars and the aggressive thumping of the drums.
The end of the three part series does not signal the end of the aggression as Mitochondrion continues with their onslaught with songs like Trials and the title track, Parasignosis. The interlude between Trials and Parasignosis feature crazy guitar twiddling in the background, a prelude to the madness that is to follow. The military style drumming on the snare, followed by the bass drums keeps things fresh and interesting, providing a fitting introduction to Banishment (Undecaphosphoric).
Somehow, at times, the album has gives me the feeling that the main focus of Mitochondrion, unlike most other death metal acts, is on the instrumentations, the atmosphere and ambience of the music instead of the vocals. The amount of time given to the vocals can become so sparse that it makes me think that I am listening to an instrumental band. Of course, this is not a bad point, considering how well Mitochondrion manages to pull this off, as evident on Kathenotheism, leaving not one moment for the listener’s mind to wander away.
The closing track is fittingly titled Ambient Outro, with nothing but an eerie soundtrack being played for more than 9 minutes, yet not boring the listener at the same time. From the 6:00 mark of the song onwards, the same soft but chaotic guitar lines in the background on Rift/Apex can once again be heard in the background, joining in to the madness for 1 minute before giving way to other main synths at the 7:00 mark to the 8:00 mark. And with that the album comes to an end as the track slowly fades out, with the same haunting chants that the album started with again.
While the music of Mitochondrion has drawn comparisons to bands such as Impetuous Ritual, Portal and Vasaeleth, they manage to break free from any strict classifications with the addition of their own elements, calling it their own brand of atmospheric death metal.