This split release ‘Bloodlines’ has caused me much excitement, not since Opium Lord or Old Skin have I felt this excited. Both artists hailing from the Appalachian Mountains which play such a central role in this music. Twilight Fauna, a sole vision of one man and his relationship with the Appalachian Mountains and its people was formed in 2011 and has so far released 4 pieces. He blends dulcimer and tin whistle with more traditional harsh black metal guitars and tribal drumming.
‘Blood From a Stone’ uses the former traditional folk instruments to create a rhythmic droning track where the tin whistle piques, this fades as the barren, decadent black metal guitar encroaches. I have never visited the Appalachians, however I do experience a feeling of soft beauty and harsh barren landscapes. It’s as if I am trapped on a mountainside during a storm! The guitar batters me and I have little to resist it with, although I do get some relief half way through the 11 minute ‘A Revelation (Concealing the Scars), but it’s like the aftermath, the destruction the storm left.
Old Thunder are another one man outfit with a similar outlook and connection to the surrounding Appalachians. A tad doomier affair this, a more solid sound as ‘An Inheritance of Ashes’ what a title, adds to this sense of burden and loss. The subtle guitar picking heaves pangs of despair upon me, as his vocals sound searching and wanting.
‘Burnt Stone Garland’ again starts in a subtle, less is more kinda way. Simple sounds punctuating notes picked on a guitar. Then the vocal/drum/guitar barrage starts and carries you along for the rest of the track to the end of the split release.
This is an immense piece, one of my favourites of the year which will be hard to beat. Old Thunder and Twilight Fauna are both worth an explore as they have stuff available on their own Bandcamp sites, however for Bloodlines over here.