Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Oak Pantheon - From a Whisper

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

Artwork by Bob Stokes

From A Whisper builds on Oak Pantheon's already sterling reputation. Their style draws frequent and favourable comparisons to blackened folk and doom metal legends Agalloch and Cascadian black metallers Wolves in the Throne Room, and for good reason. They pair plaintive, wistful clean singing with masterfully executed harsh vocals, to great effect, especially on the vast and mournful "It." The guitar work has a ranging, windswept quality that evokes the loneliness and haunting power of an immense pine forest buried in snow.

Oak Pantheon excel at painting sonic soundscapes and take a very visual approach to songwriting, allowing their tracks to unfold with the kinetic power of a wolf running across a plain. While there are many moments of acoustic loveliness on From a Whisper, Oak Pantheon never let the listener forget for a moment that the natural world they pay homage to is as dark as it is breathtaking, full of teeth, claws and sudden blizzards. If complex, shivering, blackened folk metal that places a hot muzzle to your throat and lets your blood leak out beautifully into the snow is for you, From A Whisper will be one of your favourite records of the year.


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