Next to nothing can be found on Titaan. They are one of those acts whose existence is (as of right now) a complete enigma. All we know is that the record is based on ancient Babylonian mythos and could be seen either as a tribute to such tales, or a ritual working involving these tales as tools. I’m not really sure which and that I feel, is a good thing. As I look at the simple genre description that I have, the band are considered occult and esoteric black metal, which works to answer the hypothesis I made earlier with an answer being found in the second option (it’s some kind of ritual working.) However, the “black” metal part isn’t quite right, as one can clearly hear gorilla growls being utilized in addition to the familiar black metal vocal approach and aside from the blasting of the drum kit, there’s very little in the way of a tremolo which almost assuredly places these guys in that atmospheric death metal sub-genre. The term “avantgarde” is also used, as I could see necessary for the keyboard work, especially considering that many of the tracks are atmospheric synth pieces like “Anur” and “Erset La Tari” which still remain in tone with the mood of the album. The disc even ends with one of these pieces, called “Nibiru” which is literally twelve minutes long.
Now I know what you’re saying, “All of these interludes are ruining my metal experience!” and I can see how some might agree with that, but you need to keep in mind that Titaan balance metal and atmosphere together on the same disc. There’s arguably just as much metal as there is atmosphere here, so if you only want to capture the metal tracks, you’d probably just have to take them off and put them in a separate playlist or something. But that being said, Kadingir is not the kind of record that you’re supposed to listen to out of context, because it has it’s own distinct vibe that you’ll need to sit down and soak in. It’s still a heavy metal album, except when it isn’t – and you’re just going to have to accept that. One can say that this enigma took a gamble with what is a debut album, and it’s definitely not going to appeal to everyone, especially those wanting to know “how all this silly shadow stuff” got mixed into their death metal. Fortunately, I’m not that kind of numbskull and can appreciate the disc on a more cerebral level. Although I can’t understand a single fucking word of the death metal portions, it’s all in the atmosphere there too as well, as the vocals feel more like another instrument to meld in with the guitars and make a statement.
Part of me thinks that perhaps the band should have made two discs, one for the metal portion and another for the atmosphere, but another part of me feels that the record sounds perfectly fine in it’s current state and that there’s nothing wrong with it. The disc as a whole is expectedly ten minutes over an hour, which means that you’ll really need to sit down and devote some time to this one. It’s almost like a heavy meditation, even though it does include several lighter meditations as well. It’s ultimately rather solid, but you’re just going to have to find a way to get over those humps in atmosphere if you don’t care for them. Fans of atmospheric death metal acts like Portal will find something to like here, but just keep in mind that there’s more of a balance in these two familiar to the genre elements (death metal and atmosphere) than you’ll find on other records… but again, that’s not such a bad thing. Open your mind a bit. (Eric May)