Cicada the Burrower – Corpseflower (Review)

Cicada the Burrower - CorpseflowerThis is the fourth album from one-woman black metal band Cicada the Burrower.

Corpseflower is an intriguing and engaging collection of tracks that mix jazz, post-hardcore, psychedelic rock, and post-rock into a 31-minute progressive/post-black metal framework that also incorporates elements of blackgaze and depressive black metal.

The album brings to mind what you might get were you to cross Circle Takes the Square with Ephel Duath, Barishi, and Deafheaven. In other words, this is an atypical, non-standard expression of blackened emotion, and the artist behind Cicada the Burrower is to be commended for both the individuality and quality of the music we have here. Corpseflower is beautiful, but has teeth.

The music ranges widely, from light jazz-influenced sections that feel bright and breezy, to heavier moments that want to claw out your eyes with daemonic talons. Frequently these two extremes are combined, producing music that probably shouldn’t work, but definitely does. Between these extremes lies a lot of different ground, all covered with consummate ease. The artist clearly knows what she wants to say, and her voice, both stylistically and literally, is up to the challenge.

The album takes the listener on an atmospheric journey through darkness and light. The artist is adept at crafting hypnotic layered soundscapes that are highly immersive. The music manages to balance a mood-driven approach with some surprisingly catchy musical components, frequently simultaneously. This results in songs that are concurrently complex and simple, indulging the listener in their rich depth, while also flattering them with the joys of instant gratification.

The music is drenched in feeling, both negative and positive. It’s undeniably dark in nature, yet is also resplendent with hope and dazzling colour. It has a fluid quality that’s enticing, yet this same quality also feels menacing, as if it is manifesting a duality of purpose. Does Corpseflower want to bless or corrupt? Possibly both, possibly at the same time. Either way, it’s a risk worth taking.

Corpseflower is an exemplary album that speaks highly of its creator and her ability to craft music that has found its own voice and character. This is music that has lasting value and appeal, and I urge you strongly to check this out.

Very highly recommended.

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