10/10 tour, would attend.
10/10 tour, would attend.
01. Autumn Again
02. The Woods Are On Fire
03. Never Complete
04. Try Not To Destroy Everything You Love
05. Hearts of Light
06. Sepia Mountains For Her Lament
08. Avoiding Winter
09. Starlit Spirits
Black metal, post-rock, and new wave have been intimate with each other for some time. There’s something about fuzzy guitars, dreamy atmospheric melodies, and a certain frostbitten tenacity that just works well together, and with every year, the genres get even more incestuous and daring in their experimentation. Just take a look around; post-black progenitors Alcest are metamorphosing into dream pop, Deafheaven are getting more romantic in their longing soundscapes, and Altar of Plagues went out in a swan-song of vicious tremolo-picked melodies and industrial grooves. It could be argued that the fringes of black metal influenced music is one of the most interesting developments we’ve seen in extreme underground music lately, and few bands encompass the possibilities of this movement quite like An Autumn For Crippled Children.
01. Paradise Overgrown
03. Twelve Minutes
04. There Must be Great Wisdom with Great Death
05. ( )
06. The Free Intelligence
07. The Inheritance (Demo Track Remastered)
08. The Mind; It’s Form and Function (Demo Track Remastered)
09. Seidlitz (Demo Track Remastered)
Black metal in the year 2013 is a bleak affair. With an overabundance of American black metal bands trying to reinvent the genre with a sub-genre called “Cascadian” black metal – not realizing they’re just aping the same sounds that were done before them nearly 20 years ago – and far too few “real” black metal bands making anything half original, the genre has been in a state of stagnation for quite awhile — with the exception of a few outliers who have utilized the genre sparingly in conjunction with other sounds (e.g. Ihsahn). The Australian underground black metal project, Loss of Self, while not wholly new, brings some much needed enthusiasm and broader range of appeal to a genre in desperate need of revitalization.
Last week, I recommended the post-black metal oddities Loss of Self. These peculiar Aussies take the post-black sound and shakes it up with punk rhythms, avant-garde mentality, and a bit of brevity. Typically, the genre features expansive songwriting in epic length, but it’s not unusual for Loss of Self to bust out 2 – 4 minute jams. At least, that was the case for their self-titled demo EP. Think Deafheaven, but a bit weird!
Atmospheric and post-black metal are booming right now, and showing no signs of slowing down. Killer releases in the genre this year from Deafheaven and Altar of Plagues in particular have already been heralded as year highlights. From the looks of things, you’ll likely be able to add Louisville, KY’s Anagnorisis to the list of stand-out releases in the genre this year with their upcoming album Beyond All Light.
The album is being released independently on later this month, but we’ve got the first taste of the album via opening track, ‘Eulerian Path.’ This sprawling 7 minute track is dynamic and absolutely epic, capturing haunting atmospheres and reaching devastating peaks. Stream the track through the Soundcloud player below:
Few bands are picking up steam as fast as US post-black metal group Deafheaven. After a successful demo spread like wildfire, leading to the group’s signing to Deathwish Inc and a tour with post-black progenitors Alcest. The hype train surrounding Deafheaven helped the group’s second album Sunbather sell over 3,000 copies in first week and pre-orders. Photographer Maclyn Bean attended the Philadelphia stop of Deafheaven’s recent headlining tour, and you can view the photos below.
03. A Letter
05. Collapse and Die (Suicide Nation cover)
It’s weird to imagine a time when beautiful atmosphere and longing ambiance were thought to be the antithesis of extreme metal. Nowadays, the two aesthetics have long been mastered as complimentary. The post-whatever school of thought being the zeitgeist of the moment, it’s no wonder how black metal has become so affected. Strange, considering that it’s a genre seemingly built on an elitist exclusionary mindset, if stereotypes are to be trusted. Two bands cutting against this grain and bringing black metal out of bleak traditionalism and into oddly bright furtherance are Vestiges and Panopticon, whose split EP is a vibrant testimony for the American atmospheric black metal movement.
01. Dream House
04. Please Remember
07. The Pecan Tree
Deafheaven are among the rarest of breeds. Their uncanny ability to write music that so perfectly conveys the emotion they express with their lyrics is something that had been lacking for such a long time in the metal world. Since their inception, the band has continued to push the envelope and experiment with new sounds, techniques, and lyrics. With their newest effort, Sunbather, the band not only personifies what it means to be emotive, but perfects this into a pure form of art that can only be described as an expansion of their past towards an even brighter future.
Fans got a surprise this week when Deafheaven pre-orders went live. If you pre-ordered the album, you got a high quality digital download instantly ahead of release. If that’s not an incentive, I don’t know what is. Now those of us not committed enough to purchase something before giving it a test drive first can get a taste of the post-black metallers’ opus over at Pitchfork!
Despite whatever I may have said about post-black metal’s sense of homogeneity (oooh, tremolo picking and blast beats!), the sound can be extremely heart wrenching if done with sincerity, confidence, and just the right amount of affect. Deafheaven manage to do this adequately, and if you’ve ever seen the band live, you know the kind of passion these guys put into performing their beautifully haunting black metal compositions, especially frontman George Clarke, whose intensity truly sells the show.