Date Released: 05/16/2016
Label: Blackened Death Records
Album Type: Split
Album info: Bandcamp
After a short spoken word introduction and natural world lecture on beasts of the land we are introduced to gentle strums of guitar and the vocal as “A Gathering of Wolves” begins to develop. It is spooky neo-folk, the sounds of an ancient creaking forest, dark beyond contemplation, and long forgotten. The tracks chart its rediscovery as we explore the hidden depths, and in it are horrified by the “A Half-Living Creature of Wood, Stone, and Flesh.”
It feels like the soundtrack to the Scandinavian classic movie Troll Hunter. Until “Coyote” starts and we move more in to familiar territory of basement black metal. Buzzing guitar, tribal percussion and gruff chanting guitars. It is raw and passionate, evocative and emotional. I moved away from black metal in the 90s when it became over-produced and too muscular. This wave or tribal and neo-folk invocations has rekindled my interest.
“Tusk of the Narwhal” is another neo-folk interlude, little vocal, some experimental touches set about mostly acoustic strumming. “Spirit Jaws of the Waheela” gears us up for what is about to come, as if Carnivorous Forest are too avant-garde for your taste, Beyond the Dark Forest is far more traditional scary as hell buzzing, screaming and howling black metal. An introduction bleeds in to the “Flesh of the Gods” and from then on it is rampant to the bitter end. Buzzing guitars sounding as if I am in an abattoir create the dark and uneasy feeling they intend!
This is released on Blackened Death Records which is getting itself a rather tasty roster of neo-folk, blackened, doom and death. Digital copies available now, with copies available in the physical realm due in June. Well worth an exploration on a dreary afternoon!