Feral Light impressed me with both 2020’s Life Vapor and the short EP Ceremonial Tower the year after. Psychic Contortions continues the band’s impressive run, showcasing Feral Light doing what they do best across 36 captivating minutes.
The music is aggressive and harsh, but it’s married to an atmospheric melodic side that’s potent and engaging. The core black metal heart of Psychic Contortions is one that shows both progression and regression; the former soars into post-black metal heights, while the latter descends into abrasive crust nastiness. Feral Light have always combined this dual nature well, but on these new songs that mix seems to be heightened somewhat. Moments of moody atmospheric immersion or raw savagery never seem to far away from the band’s blackened material for too long.
Feral Light’s use of dark and sometimes quite subtle melody is something that stood out to me the first time that I heard them, and these new songs continue to play to the band’s strengths in this regard. Second to this is their use of serrated riffs and blackened rhythms, both of which find good expression on this album. Dissonant moods churn like a ferocious maelstrom, but when resplendent beauty sometimes rises from the depths like a soaring ray of light, it can be quite breathtaking and inspiring.
Feral Light’s twisting, malevolent blackened sound has reached something of an apex on Psychic Contortions. Whether it’s their best work remains to be seen as it continues to sink its talons into me over time, but it certainly stands out as up their with their best material. If I had to place bets, I’d say that this probably is their best work so far. This is modern black metal that you need to hear if you’re at all enamoured with the style.
Very highly recommended.