[When I add labels to the Metal Labels On Bandcamp page I usually scan their releases looking for anything interesting I might have missed. The reviews on The Metal Archives are a great help when doing thisBy the reviewers from The Metal Archives.
[When I add labels to the Metal Labels On Bandcamp page I usually scan their releases looking for anything interesting I might have missed. The reviews on The Metal Archives are a great help when doing this: a couple of great reviews means an album I should probably check out. With this series I'd like to share some of my finds, accompanied by a paragraph from the review that made my ears stand up and take notice. In this edition we feature three very non festive releases from the Mexican black metal label Self Mutilation Services.]
While listening to atmospheric black metal releases, I do not often feel the sorrow transported with the music, which is intended most of the time, of course. It certainly is very prominent on this one, though. Sorrow can be chained together with other emotions like hate, envy, frustration, and loneliness, which makes it not very easy to listen to this stuff, but also gives it an indescribable beauty. And Alrakis manages to bring this combination of two seemingly opposite feelings to damn near perfection. And this one word just mentioned summarizes the album quite good: loneliness. An atmosphere is created where you can flow around in an endless universe with nothing but the stars around you... and it actually works for me. (read Urnoev's full review here).
Here I am thinking that "9 Crimes" by Damien Rice is the most depressing, most emotionally damning love song ever concocted then Hanging Garden come along with "Only in My Mind" and completely blow my hypothesis out of the water. Usually songs about love and heart break do nothing for me, but Hanging Garden present it in such a unique and profoundly emotional way that after extensive listening it is still impossible to not get affected by. Hanging Garden have took a concept that is universal to all of us; love, and despairs at it. In the same way that No Country For Old Men despairs at violence, Hanging Garden despair at the whole concept of love. Creating an emotionally devastating journey into the sick and tormented minds that make up this band. (read Nokturnal_Wrath's full review here).
This is one of the saddest, most droning albums to come out of the genre in its entire history. I may be a bit biased due to my love for this style of music but this album really is something else, and I believe it to be essential listening.
The guitar tone on this album is extremely thin and raw, however, unlike a lot of other bands in this field, the bass is extremely thick. This is a rather investing anomaly that still surprises me after hearing this album four years after hearing it for the first time. A lot of these bands mute the bass completely out of the music or even go as far as to not utilize the bass guitar whatsoever. When Mine Eyes Blacken treats the bass quite different. It is at times even louder than the electric guitar. For example, take the song "Secluded Within Sorrow, Solace Awaits". The bass is extremely loud in the mix, and underneath, we hear the guitar riffs following the pattern of the bass. It sets the path for the music and the guitars and drums follow. (read BlackMetal213's full review here).