I honestly didn’t Google it to remind myself because, of course, everyone knows that ‘cosmogony’ is the study of the origins of the universe. It was probably the French spelling that confused me – but this is the latest offering from French black metal duo Dysylumn so, of course, that is no surprise. Also, given that the front cover depicts an artistically diagrammatical representation of the Big Bang theory and, on an even grander scale than that, this album clocks in at a whopping 81 minutes, it was a mixture of intrigue and trepidation flooding my flappy little mind when I first clicked play.
It’s a cliché – and guaranteed to have been pulled from the gaping bottoms of reviewers on many occasions – but this is more than just an album. In fact, it’s a whole bookcase complete with a dusty globe on the top of it. The greatest singular achievement of ‘Cosmogonie’ is that it is the black metal equivalent of Gustav Holst’s ‘The Planets’ in that its dynamics and structure are finely sculpted with absolute precision. This is an extreme work designed by a classical mastermind.
Split into three separate sections divided by those familiar sounds of planets revolving (or a lorry reversing up a street half a mile away), this is dissonant, mid-paced black metal underpinned with the harrowing escapism of doom and then smothered in the vocal style more akin to the funeral-esque ends of the genre. Furthermore, it’s a vivid dream where you hurtle through space wearing some fetching goggles and gaze across the mind-boggling, ghastly apparitions of our infinite little universe. It’s really quite unique.
I have been immensely taken with this record for a number of reasons but, primarily, I think it is because it carries you. When you listen to as much music as many of us do, you do a lot of the heavy lifting – so it was more than welcome relief to find this one pull up in its spaceship and offer to give me a ride.