Slow black metal – an oxymoron? Well not in Suicide Forest’s case. Depressive, leaving that hollow yearning feeling, US black metallers Suicide Forest, which are another one-man band outfit, have created a beautiful piece of dark melancholy. Spread across 8 tracks the listener is reminded of how futile life is, track 4 sums it up with ‘A Sobering Reflection’ ..good grief, and this is being released in July 2017, when the northern hemisphere is enjoying summer, and I’ll be hanging ten on my board, evenings spent chillaxing round a campfire on the beach…. No wait… I think I shall close the curtains and indulge in DSBM and await the end of the world.
Dungeon sounds, lasting, lilting slow guitar riffs, seething vocal noises and gentle piano pieces and keyboard interludes are used to create this menacing, gloomy atmosphere. And to cement this dark feeling the album is released on black cassette, ‘non more black’ as Spinal Tap might say, limited to 100 hand numbered with carefully assembled 3 panel sleeve.
Folkvanrgr Records are quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with. Become one of the folk.
Chiral – Gazing Light Eternity
‘Gazing Light Eternity’ by Chiral is a slow burning atmospheric black metal piece by Italian one man outfit. Mixing the majestic Wolves in the Throne Room sprawling sound with tight Burzumic pounding and lead guitars that elevate the sound that much higher than organic howling black metal. Folkvangr are releasing this on a strictly limited cassette run which includes an additional track.
There’s something rather cosmic and kosmiche about the tunes, ‘The Haze’ certainly is a trippy keyboard piece interlaid with dialogue, as if I am listening in to a conversation that I am not privy to. ‘The Crown’ returns the guitar to the driving seat, as I feel I am wandering lost in a dark, cold forest. Chiral balance the ambience and the fierce, the beauty and the danger to an organic orgiastic effect.
Well, another year is gone.
Beside its fine, pleasing moments, which were few, it was awful and most parts of it sucked. There were countless sad moments, unfortunate events, and more important than the others many great artists, many legends left us, gone forever but their memories remain, with us, eternally.
However, at the same time, many tremendous albums came alive, pleased us, left huge traces of joy and eternal pleasures carved in our souls, kept us all alive, gave us power to face difficulties, through all the ass-kicking rough times.
I’m cutting it short. I just want to mention the words of Andy Dufresne from The Shawshank Redemption: “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”
I enjoyed a lot of really good music this year. Here is an alphabetized list of additional releases that I think require your attention.
Goodbye, good riddance and FUCK YOU, 2016.
While I begin writing this, I am overcome with a rush of emotions. To say that is was a rough year for my family would be an understatement.
As some of you already know, my wife of 20 years and my best friend and soul mate of almost 30 had a heart attack and nearly died during a scheduled open heart surgery to replace a defective valve. She would end up having two more open heart surgeries (three total over three days), and then flat line several times in the days that followed, two of those times while myself and our two teenage children were in the room.
In the weeks that followed, days seemed to never end. Time pretty much stood still. She spent 21 days in the CICU (Cardiac Intensive Care Unit) in a drug induced coma, while 16 different drips, two cardiac machines and a heart pump helped keep her alive and her heart beating as close to a normal sinus rhythm as possible, until it was strong enough to beat on its own.