Saturday, August 30, 2014


CAPA has given us another dose of their post-blackened everything. What's new here, or what will keep your interest? This record is definitely a lot harsher with regards to the music and composition. Wrapping around the post rocky-pretty atmospheric parts are harsh, dissonant squelches from the guitars, riding atop inorganic and cold drums. This evokes anything from noise/hardcore band Anodyne's supremely underrated Quiet Wars LP to Blut Aus Nord's middle period to The Axis of Perdition to Caina (who probably comes the closest to a reference point). Give it a shot.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Twilight Fauna - Hymns of a Forgotten Homeland

Another repeat offender. First time around I thought Ravenwood needed to work on the black metal parts of his songs, his personal brand of Appalachian folk black metal was pretty good at the appalachian folk part. On this follow-up, he pulled an audible and kept the same formula, not making the black metal parts more fleshed out, but let them breathe into what feels less like a song than a ritual chant or incantation. He'll probably get compared to Panopticon for as long as people talk about his band, but Ravenwood just needs to focus more on making his music his. Less Appalachian Folk Black Metal, more Blackened Appalachian Folk, like this recording is.

Emerald Weapon - Part II: Earth Encrypted

Its our buddies from the PNW back at us with a new recording. I was kinda tepid on their S/T EP. There were a lot of flaws in it, and a shit ton of improvements that needed to be made, but there were some bright spots in the songwriting, especially the guitars. Now we have their second release. Most of the complaints I had have been addressed. The songs seem to flow better, the mixing is improving at a good rate (the exception is the hi-hat, which needs to be reigned in a little, because it overpowers the rest of the drum track and even bleeds into the main focus), and the guys seem to want to be seen as standard Cascadian black metal no more. The drone part of their sound seems to fit more naturally as well. However, "Cement Rivers" suffers from a problem their last EP had in general; the song ends rather abruptly, it doesn't seem to flow to a natural end. This is only a minor setback to what, in my opinion, is a great follow-up recording. Let this be a reference point if you are looking for a band that matured naturally in a very short span of time.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Aires - Aires

Not black metal, but I sometimes like to post things from artists who are involved in, related to, or influenced by black metal. Aires claims influence, but it is only really notable on the epic closing track "Contraplacado". Up to that point, this young Portuguese band plays a pretty standard yet powerful brand of drone, keyboards and sound manipulation and field recordings being the only instruments/sources. "Contraplacado" is the real gem here. Swelling waves of droning melodic keys wash over you again and again, building and tearing away, crushing you beneath their mournful pall. Each swell brings the melody that much closer to its apogee and each ebb pulls it down to a sparse continuation of what it was, until the "tide" of the music is fully in, then you are stuck beneath the surface indefinitely. The swells continue but you are already under and breathing the salt, the crushing weight. This whole release is good, the last track is fucking brilliant.

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