Destiny-Man opens with a deceivingly simple instrumental piece, but the mellow acoustic guitar soon gives way to the outright cacophony that is the title track. The standard black metal components are all here in abundance - tremolo riffs, punishing blast beats, hoarse vocals - though no song settles in long enough to really develop any sense of emotion or consistency. Instead, the time signatures, riffs, and beat patterns change fast and furiously to the point of becoming almost overwhelming. "Vying" is a prime example of this discordance, being one of the most difficult tracks to grasp.
All about Destiny-Man is not chaos, however. Sum takes his inspiration from classical composers such as Mozart and Bach, and you can hear hints of this influence in some of his searing leads. Elsewhere, the album eases up on the ferocity enough to allow for the creation of a melancholic, ominous atmosphere. Such a moment comes as a dark, doomy interlude during the song "Requiem Aeternam" while "Freewill" - the most accessible song on Destiny-Man - opens with clean vocals and is peppered with slow, melodic passages. The beginning seconds of "Ser" sounds very much like a modern rock tune, with more clean vocals and a definite groove. Enjoyable as these moments may be, they are fleeting and soon replaced with the seemingly directionless assault that Requiem Aeternam is known for.
Destiny-Man will not find a great many admirers, except perhaps among fans of bands like The Dillinger Escape Plan or Primus, but I don't think that Sum set out to pen an accessible album. Experimentation and expanding boundaries is the name of the game here, and with that in mind Requiem Aeternam can declare "mission accomplished".
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