Widziadło – Void (2017)

Reviews

Widziadło – Void
September 29th, 2017 (Poland); Opus Elefantum Collective
LP (47 min.)
Dark Ambient, Funeral Doom Metal, Atmospheric Black Metal

Lineup:
T – guitars, drums, production
Zguba – ambiance, production

Track list:
01. Gateway
02. Beyond Earth And Reason
03. Nether Reach
04. Halo
05. Creation
06. Entering The Void


Void is the debut album of the Black Metal duo Widziadło. The label dubs their music “Cosmic Ritual Black Metal”, which is a fitting description, but only touches on some elements of their music. More on that later. The band consists of the musicians Zguba, who debuted in 2016 with an interesting martial industrial album titled „The Last Command”, and T., who would like to stay anonymous. The whole project was born in 2012, when the artists met each other by mere accident on a Chilean beach. They realized that they shared the dream of space travel to experience the cosmic void and this shared dream united them instantly. The idea behind Widziadło was to reach sonic transcendency, a breakaway from well known reality and dimension. Widziadło is the result of the longing for a metaphysical, out-of-body liberty, a transcendence into the cosmic void.

The completion of Void took over half a decade. Through the years, the project continuously changed its sonic identity –  from space ambient to shoegaze, from sophisti-pop to harsh noise. The final result is an almost entirely instrumental album that combines all these elements into a rather unique sonic experience.

The album starts with “Gateway”, a track that begins like your typical shoegazy Atmospheric Black Metal song – a repeated riff and monotonous drums, howling incomprehensible vocals in the background. The folk influences become more obvious as the song goes on and the guitr works gets a bit more varied. It isn’t until the song is halfway over though, that something really interesting happens. The second half of the song was quite surprising to me though, as it introduces ambient elements to the Black Metal sound, reduces the tempo and starts getting more and more “spacey”. It becomes clear what the band is trying to convey with this album – a connection with the endless void of space on an atmospheric level. The guitar work on this track is a bit hindering in my opinion, as it stays rather monotonous and kind of boring throughout the whole track. A stronger focus on the ambient elements would have made this a better introduction to the album, in my opinion, but it is still a solid track in the context of the whole record.

With “Beyond Earth And Reason”, Widziadło are clearly paying hommage to well known Cascadian Black Metal acts like Wolves In The Throne Room or Falls of Rauros, but expand the typical Cascadian sound by synth lead melodies reminiscent of Atmospheric Black Metal bands like Elderwind. It is a very atmospheric and beautiful track, that isn’t crazily original, but a very good Atmospheric Black Metal track that shows that Widziadło definitively have some decent songwriting skills and a feeling for atmosphere.

“Nether Reach” is the first pure Ambient track on the album – and a fantastic one. The atmopshere evoken by the droney industrial and cosmic sounding noises on this track is creepy and very evocative – it takes you right into “the void”. A fantastic track and probably one of my favorites on the album.

“Halo” is a combination of what has happened so far on the album – a song that takes in both Ambient and Metal elements and floods the listener with crushing waves of sound. This song cannot be described as Black Metal, but comfortably sits in the genre of Atmospheric Funeral Doom. With slow drums and guitars, laid over an ethereal Ambient soundscape, the track instantly creates an atmosphere of solitude and emptiness on a cosmic level.

“Creation” continues this stylistic direction and is another slow paced track that is primarily defined by dark Ambient walls of sound and slow Funeral Doom riffs, but also brings back some of the Black Metal elements that dominate the first two tracks on the album. The song has a very creepy vibe to it, which is supported by the avantgard structure of the first half of the track. This song is another fine example of great atmospheric music that sits in the upper echelon of the songs on this record.

The album is brought to a close by the epic 13 minute long “Entering The Void”, which is the culmination of all the influences that define the sound of this record, and is at first even slower in tempo, leaning towards the Drone Doom side of things, then getting back to the Black Metal sound that dominates the first two tracks, while throughout the playing time once more strengthening the ethereal concept of the album with dreamy synths and shoegazy guitar riffs.

Void is a surprising album that starts off sounding like an average Atmospheric Black Metal album, but then progresses into a mighty fine ambient-laden Blackened Funeral Doom record that is evocative and entertaining, chilling and beautiful and with a unique sonic and thematic identity. While the album has some problems regarding creative guitar work, especially on the Black Metal parts, the ambient elements and the general atmospheric value of the whole record make Void an album that is definitely worth your time, especially if you are a fan of Atmospheric Black Metal, Funeral Doom and/or Ambient music.


 

Void will be released September 29th and can be preordered from Bandcamp.

Visit the official facebook page of the Opus Elefantum Collective for more great releases.


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netra – Ingrats (2017)

Reviews

netra – Ingrats
March 9th, 2017 (Norway/France); Hypnotic Dirge Records
LP (39 min.)
Avantgarde/Depressive Black Metal

Lineup:
Netra – All instruments, Vocals

Track list:
01. Gimme a Break
02. Everything’s Fine
03. Underneath My Words the Ruins of Yours
04. Live with It
05. Infinite Boredom
06. Don’t Keep Me Waiting
07. A Genuinely Benevolent Man
08. Paris or Me
09. Could’ve, Should’ve, Would’ve
10. Jusqu’au-boutiste


A few days ago I stumbled across a record label called Hypnotic Dirge Records on Bandcamp. It is a label focusing on underground experimental/atmospheric Doom and Black Metal bands. All the albums on the label are available for free download on Bandcamp (an opportunity which I used to full capacity).

One of the most interesting artists on the label is French Avantgarde Metal band/one man project netra. His music is unlike anything I’ve ever heard before. The main musical style being Depressive Black Metal, netra incorporates elements from multiple genres like Jazz, Blues and, first and foremost, Trip-Hop (!) into his music. However crazy and unfitting this combination might sound on the paper, the actual music is amazing.

“Ingrats” is netra‘s most recent full length record and it’s probably his most eclectic and interesting work so far.

The atmospheric Trip-Hop and the raw Black Metal elements work perfectly together to create an atmosphere of depression and melancholy that can only be described as captivating.

The album surprised me repeatedly with unexpected stylistic breaks and is on the whole just an exceptionally rewarding listening experience.

If you are interested in unusual, experimental music with the Black Metal tag attached to it, you have to check this album out.


You can download this album for free from Bandcamp.

Visit the band’s official facebook page.


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Eoront – Another Realm (2017)

Reviews

Eoront – Another Realm
June 16th, 2017 (Russia);  Code666 (Aural Music)
LP (62 min.)
Atmospheric/Symphonic Black Metal

Track list:
01. The Rain
02. Two Worlds
03. Genesis
04. The Glow
05. The Sea
06. Dreamcatcher
07. The Order of Light


About the band

Eoront is a Russian Atmospheric Black Metal band that was founded in Krasnoyarsk in 2012 as a one man band. In 2013 the band independently released its first full length record “Neverending Journey”. In 2014, the German underground label Wolfsgrimm Records released the second album “Dhaar” consisting of two twenty-minute tracks. In the same year the band got a full live line-up and began to play concerts. One year later the band signed a contract with the Italian label Code666 and began recording their newest full-length album “Another Realm”. All members of the band participated in the recording and production of the album.

The band name “Eoront” is a neologism and the name of a fictious world with its own legends, myths, traditions and structure, which were initially the main content of Eoront‘s lyrics.

About the album

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“Another Realm” is a continuation of the journey around the world Eoront.
At this point in the history of this fictious world, Eoront has developed into a world of flourishing industry, pollution and large-scale wars. But it’s also a world where magic is always present. According to the band, the music on this album tries to portray the dichotomy and war between the decadence, dirt and chaos of the dark side of Eoront and the beauty and purity of its nature on the other side.
Lyrically, the album doesn’t explicitely talk about Eoront but consists primarily of poems by the Russian poets of the Silver Age – Nikolai Gumilev, Maximilian Voloshin, Alexander Blok and Konstantin Fofanov, who in their works combine the pain of the modern world and the enjoyment of the natural beauty of the past.

Track by track review 

The album is opened up by “The Rain”. The track begins with an Ambient introduction with a creepy atmosphere to it and then abruptly leads into raw Black Metal with the ambient theme still playing in the background. A very promising introduction into the album that sets the dark tone of the rest of the record very effectively and wakes interest for what is to come.

Track 2, “Two Worlds”, goes into a slightly different stylistic direction than the first track. The pacing is similarly fast, but the song isn’t as raw as the intro track and features a big amount of orchestral elements that play in the background. The orchestral elements, which immediately reminded me of the Norwegian band Kråke, are a major part of the whole album and give the music a very grand and epic atmosphere.

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The third track, “Genesis”, is a rather monotonous track with a very dark and pressing atmosphere. In my opinion, it’s a little too long for what it has to offer musically, but that’s just a minor flaw, considering the atmospherical value of this track.

“The Glow”, the fourth track on the album, is slower paced than most of the music on “Another Realm”, but contains multiple tempo changes, making it a very exciting song to listen to. Being both varied and atmospherically coherent, this song is a great example of a good balance between atmosphere and compositional creativity. One of my favourite tracks of the album.

“The Sea” is a song that begins with rather uninteresting classic Black Metal riffery but in the middle part it becomes very atmospheric and interesting. The orchestral and ambient elements are very effective on this track and give it a nice atmosphere that leads perfectly into the following song.

“Dreamcatcher” is again slower paced in the beginning and becomes a bit faster later on. This song has a very nice flow and takes the listener on an almost hypnotic and at times nightmarish journey. The drumming on this track is rather prominent and adds a dynamic element to the dense atmosphere. It seems like the longer tracks on this album are also the best ones. This song, much like “The Glow”, offers atmosphere and musical variance, it is both constantly atmospheric and musically creative. A great song, all in all.

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The last track on the album, “The Order of Light”, begins at very high tempo blast beats and guitar riffing with relentless vocals and impending symphonics in the background. A piano line adds a certain amount of “beauty” to the dark atmosphere and makes it an interesting listening experience that than leads into creepy distorted keys playing over a slow guitar riff and slow, heavy drumming. From there the song develops into an almost progressive sounding track with varied drumming and exciting synth and organ passages and ends with a nice ambient passage that is reminiscent of the album’s intro. A nice way to close the album off.

A few general things about the music, that more or less count for all the songs on this album: The vocals on the album are very good. They are not very versatile but in their range they are powerful and perfectly fitting for the music. The music generally sounds epic and “big”. This isn’t the lo-fi kind of Black Metal but is well produced and pleasant to listen to. In my opinion, Eoront really managed to create an atmosphere on this album that is both dark and frightening and kind of beautiful at the same time.

Conclusion

To sum it up, “Another Realm” is a very strong Black Metal record that provides a great amount of musical and compositional variance but is also very coherently atmospheric throughout the whole playing time. If you speak Rusian, I’m sure the listening experience will be even more interesting for you. If you like atmospheric, symphonic and/or melodic Black Metal, you have to give this album a spin!


You can purchase this album physically and digitally from Bandcamp.

Visit the band’s official facebook page.


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TIMŌRĀTUS feat. weapons of indignation – Compass (2017)

Reviews

TIMŌRĀTUS feat. weapons of indignation – Compass
April 19th (USA), self-released
EP (17 min.)
Drone Doom, Avantgarde Metal

Lineup:
Aleks Tengesdal – Vocals / Cello
David Napier – Guitar / Bass

 

Track list:
01. Voice of the Lion
02. Gaze


The “Compass” EP is the newest release by Christian experimental one man Metal project TIMŌRĀTUS, which came into being in collaboration with another underground one man project called weapons of indignation.

Over the last few years, David Napier, the man behind TIMŌRĀTUS, has been experimenting with many different styles of Metal and released a cohesive concept series of EPs each of which had a different genre (the EPs are titled “Death”, “Doom”, “Black” and “Grind”, accordingly to their respective genre).
This 17 minutes EP now falls into yet another stylistic category of Metal, namely Drone Doom.

I really liked his genre EPs so far but I must say that they were nothing too special. They were “generic”, which was kind of the idea behind them in the first place but also made them a bit less enjoyable than they probably could’ve been.
This EP on the other hand really is something special.

Drone Doom always has the potential to be very one dimensional and grow boring rather quickly, so it’s always nice to hear a band experiment with unusual musical elements to make their sound stand out from the rest.

For “Compass”, TIMŌRĀTUS teamed up with Aleka Tengesdal (weapons of indignation), a cellist. So what we hear on this almost entirely instrumental EP is great atmospheric Drone Doom, overlaid with dark, creeping, sometimes dissonant cello playing. The music is very heavy and creates a dense atmosphere that feels dark but also has those indescribable moments of light piercing through.

This EP is definitely one of the most interesting pieces of Drone I’ve heard this year and I highly recommend it to everyone who likes the genre.


You can download TIMŌRĀTUS’ whole discography for free from Bandcamp.


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NǽnøĉÿbbŒrğ VbëřřĦōlökäävsŦ – Goodbye, Sol (2014)

Reviews

NǽnøĉÿbbŒrğ VbëřřĦōlökäävsŦ – Goodbye, Sol: A Journey To The End Of Spacetime And Back
July 2014 (Antarctica); Self-released
LP (17 hours 37 min.)
Post-Drone, Post-Noise, Dark Ambient

Track list:
01. Goodbye, Sol (1 Tly)
31. “Sufficiently Advanced Civilizations May Invariably Leave Our Universe” (? ly)
32. God Is A Systems Architect And The Multiverse Is An Infinitely Recursive Architectural Simulator (∞ ly)
33. Hello Again, Sol (0 ly)


NǽnøĉÿbbŒrğ VbëřřĦōlökäävsŦ (pronounced “Nanocyborg Uberholocaust”) might be the most interesting band I’ve encountered in a very long time. I’ve stumbled across this madness of a band name on Sputnikmusic and was interested right away.
I was even more interested when I found out the playing time of this particular album. Seventeen hours. SEVENTEEN HOURS. And then I read the information text about the band on their website. And that was the moment I knew that NǽnøĉÿbbŒrğ VbëřřĦōlökäävsŦ is indeed one of the craziest and most unique musical projects ever.

NǽnøĉÿbbŒrğ VbëřřĦōlökäävsŦ consists of two musicians who both happen to be scientists at a research station on the Antarctica continent. They coincidentally found out that they both have an affinity for extreme drone and ambient music and both had a bass guitar in their possession. Eventually they started making music together and released their first “full length” (22 hours) album The Ultimate Fate Of The Universe in 2007. They recorded the album at the exact South Pole. This location results in a windy, unclean sound quality, which was actually intended by the band to create the most bleak, grim and kvlt sound ever produced.

“Dark Dude” and “Wavanova”, the two members of the band, describe their style of music as “Ambient Cosmic Extreme Funeral Drone Doom Metal” and that is probably the most accurate description of their music you could come up with. I personally love this style of music: extremely ambient and droney soundscapes, grim and frostbitten but at the same time beautifully relaxing.

This album, Goodbye, Sol, released in 2014, is a concept piece about a journey to the end of Spacetime and back to our solar system. Every track comes with an indication of how many light years away from the sun we are at that point of the journey. It’s such a cool concept, and the music really does it justice. Some listeners will find it to be boring, and it is without a doubt very challenging to listen to, due to its repititiveness and extremely long playing time, but I think that this album really transports the atmosphere of a journey through the seemingly endless universe perfectly. I never thought I’d ever listen to an album recorded and produced at the South Pole, with an almost twenty hours playing time. But I did – and it’s absolutely amazing.


You can download the whole discography of NǽnøĉÿbbŒrğ VbëřřĦōlökäävsŦ from their official website for free.


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