Despite the numerous crossover elements between black metal, shoegaze and post rock, the advent of “atmospheric black metal” was a point of much conversation and controversy when it first arrived on the scene. While opinions have not altered too vastly, fans of the genre – myself included – have been rather indifferent to recent attempts to maneuver the subgenre’s blueprint. The same once enticing elements remain, but newer bands seem more focused on retaining the what has been done instead of seeking out what can be done. “Riverbeds Hewn In Marrow” – the latest offering from Australia’s Hope Drone – is an example of solid atmospheric BM and not too much else.

Any fan of atmospheric BM will find something in Hope Drone’s swirl of soaring melodies, ambient to sludge to tremolo crescendos and consistent, driving percussion. Nothing here is a reinvention of the genre, but it is difficult to complain too much due to the track’s quality. Still, it would be nice to see the genre head into a more adventurous direction from time to time. The track is from Hope Drone’s upcoming album Cloak of Ash, which is due out July 24th through Relapse and may be pre-ordered here. In the mean time, spin an additional track from the album, “Every End Is Fated In Its Beginning.”

-SM

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