The moniker ‘genune’ is often used in Romanian translation as ‘precipice’ or ‘abyss’ or so. But it is the name as well for a promising act from Romanian soil, formed about one decade ago. Throughout these past ten years, Genune did finish a limited yet quite great and interesting amount of stuff, i.e. the albums Cern Sol and Inert & Unerring. The latter is the content of this review, inspired by a novel of Arthur Koestler when it comes to the title of this album; not unimportant to understand the thematical approach. The band once started as a project by Dragoş ‘Lavoid’ C. (guitars), and throughout the years he was joined by vocalist / bassist Istvan V. and Cosmin Farcău (guitars), whom you might know as well from the great band Descend Into Despair.
It’s all about a four-pieced album, clocking almost thirty-four minutes (one short instrumental track and three extended hymns that clock around ten minutes each), exploring the concepts of one’s identity and heritage, one’s ‘Inner Eye’ and the relationship in between the Inner Self and man’s character as part of the ‘self’, the own identity which is either part of … Whatever, the semi-concept delves into the protagonist’s raison d’être, exploring the corners of his, or her, ideas, opinions, heritage (cf. the cover picture, which comes from the ancestors of Dragos, if I am not mistaken, i.e. a couple of generations back in history), beliefs, memories, you know. The lyrics are open-minded, or better, the listener can interpret and reformulate the content through a personal vision. The compact-disc edition comes with a sixteen-page booklet, which includes the lyrics, and I cannot but mention the unusual yet truly intriguing cover-artwork for sure! It gets released by a label that focuses on Romanian acts especially (yet not exclusively), i.e. the very fine, modest yet convinced and strong Loud Rage Music horde.
History knows no scruples and no hesitation. Inert and unerring, she flows towards her goal. At every bend in her course she leaves the mud which she carries and the corpses of the drowned… (Arthur Koestler).
Inert & Unerring brings highly melodic material, with a deep-emotional undertone and a melancholic attitude. Yet then again, it is not of the DSBM-kind (Depressive-Suicidal Black Metal), for this material does not focus on self-mutilation, suicide, you know, nor has it anything to do with any funereal approach either. Yet still the overload on contrasts like warm versus Arctic, introvert versus exuberant, or enlightening versus obscure, does carry the whole sonic experience. It is an album build around a guitar-based structure, with the many tremolo and twin leads and the fruitful lead guitar melodies as spine. Those melodic constructions have a melancholic touch, as mentioned, yet somehow there is a convinced fortitude of iniquity and immensity as well.
Seen the fact that three of these pieces do last for ten minutes, it is great to experience a huge variation in tempo, structure and range of influences. When talking about the latter, the influences, I am rather referring to the introduction of elements from Post (Black) Metal, (Funeral) Doom, Black- / Shoegaze, and also some DSBM (yet do mind my remark about the core of this genre, cf. my former paragraph), and so on. The tempo, then again, does vary from slow over mid-tempo to fast. Yeah, I know that this is a generally used description, but it fits. But it is remarkable how organically fluent these tempo-changes are executed. Doomed passages get brutally yet naturally overpowered by sudden blasting outbursts, before fading away once more into dreamlike, mesmerizing passages of semi-tranquillity, like the calm before another storm. Sometimes the whole comes with some epic finesse too, carefully flirting with tristesse and victory at the same time; other moments are drenched in a certain tragic aura of drama and melancholia; then again determination, even defiance / spite take over the whole atmosphere.
The sound production is very well-balanced, somewhat droning in depth, yet honestly mixed. I mentioned the guitar-oriented approach, but that didn’t mean that all other instruments and voices are inferior to the guitars in representation. Everything, i.e. electric lead and rhythm guitars, down-tuned basses, drums / percussions (truly marvellous to experience these memorable patterns), and vocals (the main voices are almost shrieking, harsh and utterly possessed screams, with some spoken / narrative words) – as well as the acoustics – come in a decent equilibrium when referring to the mix.
As said, one can interpret and reinterpret the whole aural journey, but the sonic result remains the same: highly-qualitative and ingeniously composed Post-oriented and blackened ear-candy with a lot to experience; an adventure for the senses and the mind.