Saturday, November 22, 2014

Blliigghhtted - Which Of You Have Done This?

Written by Matt Hinch.

Swallowed by the darkness

Which Of You Have Done This? is a half-hour of some of the most chilling ambient blackened noise you may ever hear consisting of one track titled “The Lords”. Blliigghhtted as an entity comprises three members, Yayla's Emir Toğrul (guitars/vocals), Viranesir's Ruhanathanas (conduction/vocals/lyrics) and Destroyer of History's Merdümgiriz (synths/vocals).

“The Lords” as described by the collective is a “psychodrama for exploring the history and philosophy of dark spirituality through correlations and juxtapositions of tradition and degeneration in essence and form.” Heady stuff. Even if you choose not to delve into those lyrical realms, WOYHDT? still offers plenty to penetrate and corrupt the mind.

Droning guitar and organ usher in ritualistic spoken voices of varying intensity. The voices range from possessed incantations through ghostly vocal emanations, deepening the sense of unease brought on by the instrumentation.

Hypnotic percussion provides a slow and steady pulse while the guitars, synths and vocals tumble through the ether in a chaotic haze. It's desolate and introspective as the outpouring of ultimate sorrow separates the listener from the warmth and light.

Vocal demons inflict a myriad of feelings from all sides, none bright, as the eerie, psychedelic synths enhance the air of mystery and ancient evil and the free-form guitars scrape away at mental barriers with arachnid-like terror and excise any hope for escape.

The sense of dread deepens as the members continue to layer their convocations through a mind-numbing fog. They overlap and distort perception like infinite ripples in a pool of never-congealing blood. It's instinctually unsettling yet oddly calming as if the realization has been made that it's only just a nightmare. Or death. And no amount of worry will end the desperation.

WOYHDT? is a captivating and entrancing release of inspired yet twisted vision from these strange and esoteric artists guaranteed to break your nerves and bend your will and cast you into their slow-boiling pit of madness and despair.

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

Friday, November 21, 2014

Dordeduh - Dar de Duh

Written by Natalie Zina Walschots. Originally published here by Exclaim.

Cover art by Costin Chioreanu

After departing from Romanian black metal act Negura Bunget in 2009, Hupogrammos and Sol Faur founded their new project, Dordeduh. Their first full-length album, Dar de Duh (which translates to "gift from the spirit"), contains many of the influences they had previously worked with in Negura Bunget, including soulful, sparkling interpretations of nature-based black metal and elements of Romanian folklore. Dordeduh take a distinctly more ambient approach, however, working less with sheer muscular force in the music and much more with shimmering, ethereal atmospheres. There's still a primal current of danger, as good folk metal often reminds the listener that the natural landscape is as deadly as it is lovely, but the thematic focus of Dar De Duh is definitely the sublime.

Photos by Dvergir

The traditional instruments are deployed deftly and intelligently, deepening the emotional impact of the sound. The complex and beautiful structures of the tracks are often dazzling, such as in the way the various elements of "Calea roților de foc" dovetail seamlessly with each other (i.e., the pleading percussion and the flute-and-guitar countermelodies). When Negura Bunget split in half, it could have been the band's death knell; instead, each half sprung up into a new beast, each a more evolved and refined version.

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

This Bandcamp link is for the regular version of Dar de Duh. There's also a (more expensive) version with 3 bonus tracks. And you can check out the Prophecy Productions Bandcamp here.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Falkenbach - Asa

Written by Natalie Zina Walschots. Originally published here by Exclaim.

The sixth full-length release from German Viking metal project Falkenbach is a misty, mysterious atmospheric adventure that, for all its subtlety and filmy texture, certainly doesn't lack drive or energy. While many blackened folk metal projects are defined by large and diverse line-ups to cope with the demands of various folk instrumentation and the complex compositions, Falkenbach is a one-man effort — the work of Vratyas Vakyas. His work possesses focus and fire — there's deadly precision to his compositions and an almost preternatural perceptiveness that set Falkenbach apart in an oversaturated genre.

While the black metal riffs swarm like circling carrion birds and the sepulchral coughs of the harsh vocals seem to carry corpse dust with them, it's the trembling vulnerability of the clean singing and urgent, compelling melodies that give Asa its strength. "Stikke Wound" has a stirring, hard driving heathen power behind it, while "Eweroun" is steeped in a deep, restless yearning, drenched in silver moonlight and strings. Asa is not quite as exquisite as 2005's Heralding - The Fireblade, but it most definitely ranks amongst Falkenbach's best.

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

This Bandcamp link is for the regular version of Asa. There's also a (more expensive) version with 4 bonus tracks. And you can check out the Prophecy Productions Bandcamp here.