I’ll be honest with you: post black metal hasn’t really been doing it for me lately. It might be that the genres which the sub-genre draws from to modify black metal, namely shoegaze and emo, aren’t really my cup of tea to begin with or the unbelievable hype that has surrounded the genre for a few years now. Whichever is the case (probably a combination of both, as these things usually go), I just haven’t listened to the genre a lot lately and, during the few rare times that I did, I didn’t really enjoy it.
But all that has changed recently with my discovery, through Heavy Blog related, channels of Synthvvitch. Steeped heavily in the aesthetics, and some of the sounds, of black metal bands like Botanist and Feminazgul, Synthvvitch plays an often slower, but no less intense, variety of the synth-heavy post black that’s been circling around the scene for a while now. The result is a very heady, very “muffling” sort of post black metal. It benefits a lot from the stuffy-sounding production and overwhelming presence of the synths, as these blend with its relentlessly mid-tempo pace to create a sort of haze, a soporific that infuses the music with ironically arresting power.
Take “disheartening microcosmic nostalgia”. It opens with these prominent synth effects, both the line playing the dulcimer like melody and the accompanying ambient line, that set the dreamy tone of the track. A little over one minute in, punchy drums, abrasive, high pitched vocals, and guitars that wouldn’t be out of place on any post-rock release, blend together to create a wall of sound above the still-present synths. This creates that overwhelming, fecund, lush feeling that the album art also conveys, utilizing the biological in much the same way that Botanist does on their releases.
The overall aesthetic feeling is of drowning in a warm liquid, engulfed by something which is inherently melancholic but also embracing, hugging. It’s a fresh and unique sound that does wonders for the post black metal trappings of the album, setting them in a new light that I haven’t quite experienced before. If you’re interested, make sure to head on over to the project’s Bandcamp page above and order it. It’s well worth your attention.