Canticles of the Holy Scythe features 37 minutes of music that consists of a black metal undercoat, which has then been fully fleshed out and painted with colours from folk, progressive, avant-garde, ambient, and classical music.
Unusual and esoteric, blackened aesthetics have seeped into this atmospheric music like a plague, infecting everything with a certain corrupt darkness. This textured, layered music would be more at home in a classical collection than a black metal one, if it wasn’t for the underlying blackened influences and forces at play behind the scenes.
The album features a wealth of guests and supporting artists enlisted by LÜÜP’s directing mastermind to ensure that Canticles of the Holy Scythe achieves the ambitious heights to which it aspires. This results in six songs that boast a wealth of sounds and instruments, all focused around realising the musical vision at hand.
Think of some of the early avant-garde black metal innovators – Arcturus, Ulver, Peccatum, Sigh, etc. – strip out the black metal guitars totally, and then disappear down the chamber music rabbit hole, and you’ll have an idea of the type of terrain that Canticles of the Holy Scythe travels.
There’s a dramatic, theatrical quality to some of this work too. Sometimes this is blatantly touted, with grand ostentatious performances, whereas at others it’s more subtle, buried in the dissonant strings or atypical sounds. This is reinforced through the use of guest vocalists too, (the most notable of which include singers from Rotting Christ and Dødheimsgard), who all have prominet roles to play in bringing this musical story to life.
Canticles of the Holy Scythe is not necessarily an album for all occasions and all people, but it does plug a certain type of musical gap that’s very hard to fill. In other words, when you’re in the mood for something of this ilk, then what this album does is very good, and very well-received.
Take the time to explore this release and see what it does for you. You might be surprised by what you find.