November 7, 2012

Autolatry - Of The Land

Review by Andy Osborn.

The very first Bandcamp page I had ever stumbled across was for Autolatry’s 2010 LP The Hill. At the time I was mourning the loss of USBM greats Ludicra, and Autolatry’s like-minded metal helped me through the grieving process immensely. Earlier this year, though, the band released another great recording. Of The Land is a concept album about the beauty found in the band’s home, taking you through the wintry forests and mountains of the New England wilderness. Autolatry play a new-school brand of black metal that is just begging for its own official title. It’s melodic, prog-influenced grimness covered in a sheen of ice and beauty. The songs are crafted meticulously, drawing every inch of breath from the chilled riffs to explore their full potential and tweaking them through each verse and chorus. Between acoustic bridges, unsuspecting timing and beautifully reserved solos, Autolatry compact the sweet spots into accessible packages instead of drawing out every unique section as so many “forward-thinking” bands tend to do. They put enough work into their sub-six minute tracks that others would take a quarter hour to explore, making the Of The Land a wholly satisfying listening experience rather than leaving you begging for more.

The EP is book-ended by up-tempo forays which give away hints of influence from Northern Europe without straying too far from the band’s prog roots. Such hearty fare is impressive for a band so young; on their most recent tour only 3/5 of the band was of legal drinking age in the States. To have crafted something with so much soul speaks volumes of the energy of their lives and of the passion for what they do. Masterfully cemented at the legendary Morrisound Recordings studio, the mix perfectly complements the band’s style. The guitars are gritty without giving way to frostbitten buzzes and the bass shines forward, guiding and swaying the band through journeys that sometimes step into jam session status. Of The Land is metal for music lovers, full of rich texture, undoubted skill and completely lacking in compromise.

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

  1. Best EP of 2012.

    1. You're on a commenting roll, I like it :)

      I can think of few 2012 EPs I think are better (Anicon, Into Darkness), but it is definitely up there.