Returning – Severance (Review)

Returning - SeveranceThis is the debut album from US black metal band Returning.

Containing 48 minutes of music, Severance is a journey into the horrors of ecocide and a hymn to the natural world. Blending black metal with the ambient and atmospheric styles to create immersive soundscapes that exude emotional power, Severance is a shock to the system and a call for better times.

A great deal of feeling and passion has been poured into this album. Whether fast or slow, heavy or light, or quiet or loud, every second of Severance is the product of considered intent. Returning channel blistering aggression and fiery rage into their dark, blackened music, infusing it with a ferocity that’s a capable means to a cathartic end. The palpable anger and despair that can be felt at certain moments is only the starting point for the portrayal of feelings of deep reverence for nature.

Each of the four tracks on Severance take the listener on a journey through dark and esoteric lands. The destination is somewhere primal and unsullied, but to get there means traversing a multifaceted realm of despoiled sights and malignant sounds. Returning paint on their canvas vividly, and whether showcasing vibrant and bountiful life or a wasteland of indulgence and regret, their art is always potent and clear.

Severance is an impressive work that should find favour with acts such as Wolves in the Throne Room, Fauna, Alda, Falls of Rauros, Stellar Descent, Evergreen Refuge, Skagos, and the like.

Very highly recommended.


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