Alda – A Distant Fire (Review)

Alda - A Distant FireAlda are an atmospheric black metal band from the US and this is their fourth album.

Alda have a multifaceted sound born from combining black metal, post-rock, and folk into 51 minutes of atmospheric nature-themed blackened art. Boasting multiple vocalists and a range of different instrumentation, including the use of viola and cello, A Distant Fire is an album of nuance and rich texture.

The songs are well-written and arranged, making good use of the band’s many talents. Alda’s use of melody is always enticing, and frequently sublime. Memorable moments are commonplace across A Distant Fire, and this only becomes more pronounced over time as you get to know the album properly.

The band compose their music in layers. Sometimes this is kept at a bare ambient minimum, while at other times they allow the layers to build and build, growing vast edifices of blackened soundscapes with which to swallow the listener in affecting atmosphere.

The songs are highly immersive and atmospheric. They unfold with epic scope and intimate grace. The music is warm with feeling, yet cold to the touch where the darker edges reflect nature’s sometimes harsh realities. Organic and natural in appearance and sound, the songs almost feel alive and covered with mosses.

Alda’s Cascadian atmospheric black metal is the sort of album that keeps on giving. The more you listen to Alda, the more it rewards you. A Distant Fire has a wealth of hidden crevices and rockfaces to explore, and every one of them will draw you back again and again.

Very highly recommended.

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