Acausal Intrusion – Seeping Evocation Review

Nulitas was one of the most promising debuts of 2021, its otherworldly atmosphere and outrageous replay value adding up to a lurching and lumbering beast with spines of searing dissonance cutting through the thick slogs of slimy riffs. While this soundscape is certainly not uncommon among the melody-hating hordes of masochists and self-flagellants, Acausal Intrusion injected a meditative quality that contrasted lethally with its hell-scraping gutturals and slam-esque pong snare. As such, upon its announcement, followup Seeping Evocation is easily one of my most anticipated releases of the year. Does it live up to the outrageous standard its predecessor set?

If anything, Seeping Evocation amps up Nulitas. It dwells in chthonic reverie and shattering devastation, once again punctuated by treble dissonance and ambiance. Doom takes a more preeminent position in its forward-thinking songwriting, as it lurches to and fro, slamming passages of blasting riffs juxtaposed1 with scathing tremolo and ambient sprawl, while its pong snare remains as prominent as ever. Seeping Evocation is Nulitas on steroids, and while its morbid creation story largely relates the same tale, the setting for emergence has been replaced by spontaneous appearance. While its predecessor was fluid and streamlined enough to justify the density of its downtuned mix, Seeping Evocation is let down by wildly out-of-control moments and a painfully monotone production, vocalist/drummer Cave Ritual’s bellows melting into the magma of axeman Nythroth’s droning attack, even if it remains an engaging and atmospheric listen nonetheless.

The best tracks on Seeping Evocation, as in the case of Nulitas, finds Acausal Intrusion embracing organic songwriting to unpredictable and dynamic results – fluidity finding its sweet spot. “Mnemonic Confabulation” and “Ostensible Implanted Inheritance” are perhaps the best examples, shifting gears of squelching slides, punishing riffs, dissonant convulsions, and frantic drumming filling their patient runtimes with splendorous journey through the dark woods of Ulcerate, the scorched fells of Fractal Generator, the haunted shores of Ad Nauseam, and the caverns of Morbid Angel, connected by the watchful eye of its dark ambiance and careful riff construction. Acausal Intrusion, in the case of tracks like the blazing “Transformational Death Phenomenon” and “Clairvoyant Quantums,” completely unravel under their own weight, cautiously brutal but tastefully unhinged. The latter also features contemplative ambiance and plucking that injects a hint of heart hidden beneath the jagged ribcage.

While Seeping Evocation‘s best lies in its most fluid and dynamic, its worst lies in attempts to replicate its predecessor’s meditative atmosphere, thanks to its denser and blander production. “Formless Conjoining Chaos” epitomizes this, its lurching toothless riffs feeling neither brutal nor technical, but rather entirely unplanned. The slower closing moments of “Ostensible Implanted Inheritance” also offend in this manner in an otherwise solid song, ending the track with a bitter taste. Meanwhile the closing moments of the punishing “Transformational Death Phenomenon” pump the brakes on its fiery energy, as it derails into a head-on collision with primordial slop. Thereafter, the head-scratching acoustic and dissonant Agalloch-esque interlude “Nythra Kthunae Atazoth” makes a puzzlingly bright and earthy addition to an abyssal and otherworldly experience. Similarly, ambient introduction and closer “Putrefaction” and “Exaltation,” respectively, offer little aside from an extension of the tracks that follow or precede them. While Nulitas did a good job of keeping engagement throughout its hour-long runtime, the ups and downs find Seeping Evocation having difficulty keeping up with its fifty-six.

Seeping Evocation takes Acausal Intrusion’s sound a step further, even if their muddy production and improvised take robs it of the potential they are clearly capable of. Compared to its predecessor, its highs are higher but its lows are quite a bit lower, resulting in a much more mixed bag. Nulitas was streamlined, a squelching beast connected by febrile tendrils of organic songwriting, while Seeping Evocation utilizes the same tricks but lacks the continuity, its fiery attack quickly tempered throughout by mood-killing tracks and passages. It is still a high-performing album with otherworldly density and crawling melodies that stick – we will just need more from this duo going forward.

Rating: 2.5/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 256 kbps mp3
Label: I, Voidhanger Records
Releases Worldwide: September 30th, 2022

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  1. No. – Steel
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