Paths is a one man project aided by a session drummer, (from Panopticon). Together they play Scandinavian-influenced atmospheric black metal. For fans of this kind of thing, I have to say that In Lands Thought Lost is definitely above the average, and should be sought out at the earliest opportunity. Continue reading
Kalaallit Nunaat’s side of the split lasts 21 minutes and is divided into two tracks. The music is a mix of raw aggression in the traditional Scandinavian second wave style, and Cascadian atmospheric majesty along the lines of Wolves in the Throne Room, in spirit at least. Continue reading
Here we have 55 minutes of expressive, expansive Cascadian atmospheric black metal. Well, this is something quite special. First seeing the light of day in 2016, it’s now getting a new lease of life via Temple of Torturous Records. Continue reading
Crypsis is a thoroughly engaging 30 minutes of atmospheric black metal, with a firm Cascadian influence. Divided into two lengthy tracks, the band have produced an album that’s both engaging and highly captivating. Continue reading
Suffer the Cold contains two immense tracks of black metal splendour, totalling 39 minutes. Continue reading
Tyakrah offer up 37 minutes of black metal. Their musical vision is raw and harsh, but not without its atmospheric moments. Melodic and depressive aspects of the blackened style can be heard in this epic music too. Continue reading
Wilt play Atmospheric Black Metal that takes its time, fleshing out its expansive vision with Doom-drenched splendour and releasing negative vibes for all to feel and react to.
Despondent and glorious, Wilt play music that doesn’t lack for bite or venom, despite the fact that they know how to foster mood and atmosphere. Here, the two go hand in hand with a Blackened spite that seems to coast along the seas of guitars like a predator looking for prey.
The main bulk of this album is taken up by three long songs that are textured soundscapes writ large in considered, resplendent Black Metal. The riffs and melodies used are subtle and overpowering at the same time, creating songs that know when to use a splash of colour, and when to use shades of darkness.
Blast beats appear on occasion, underscoring the band’s Blackened core, but the majority of the material is slower and devoted to dark auras. Mind you, this is not too different a situation when the drums are going fast, as the main intention is not one of brutality, merely a dramatic emphasis on the shadowy feelings that the band evoke.
A Post-Metal influence can be heard in some of the guitar melodies, although this is only an aspect of their songwriting and is subsumed by the general Blackness and atmosphere of the music; Wilt can’t really be described as a Post-Black Metal band.
And the vocals? Despairing screams that stop short of the Depressive style, but not by much. Needless to say, you can’t go wrong with vocals like this and the singer’s performance works as a focal point for the ever-expanding atmospheres of the music. Creeping whispers also appear on The Elder, working gently to soothe the listener before the darkness closes in once more.
In the spirit of Epic Black Metal and the Cascadian style, Wilt have crafted a worthy addition to the sub-genre for anyone who likes this kind of music.
Well this is a long one; 7 tracks across 77 minutes. Hope Drone don’t do things by halves it seems. But then why should they? This kind of music demands complete immersion and Cloak of Ash provides ample opportunity for this.
The music has a Black Metal base onto which is built Post-Black Metal wanderings and Atmospheric Sludge Metal influences.
Hope Drone take the Cascadian Black Metal template and use it to fashion themselves a wide-reaching, emotive album that’s highly textured and richly delivered. All speeds and tempos are catered to as well as heavier and lighter sections, which means that Cloak of Ash is a diverse and pleasurable listen that succeeds in painting in shades of darkness and light.
The Black Metal is never too far from the surface. Even the Post-Metal and Sludge/Doom elements of their sound have that Blackened twinge to them, although that doesn’t stop them from dripping with a darkened beauty. The band can play ugliness and aggression extremely well, but there are enough moments of resplendent glory and delicate allure here that it’s easy to become mesmerized with the band’s hypnotic performance.
The lighter elements are augmented with some Ambient/Drone interludes. When these segue gently into incredibly effective mid-paced atmospherics it’s a very uplifting and transcendental experience. Of course, I’m aware that words like transcendental get bandied around far too often when describing bands like Hope Drone, but it fits like a glove and conveys the appropriate feeling that the band can sometimes create.
The agonised screams are harsh and unforgiving, reminding you that no matter how the music sounds or where it takes you, this is still music forged from the underworld.
Hope Drone have truly created a wonderfully realised piece of Blackened art. I’m thoroughly impressed and completely in thrall to it.
An essential listen.