The more I listen to black metal, the less I find myself caring about about things like rules or categorization. I’m not looking for black metal to change my worldview, or adhere to a set of parameters that maybe made sense over 20 years ago, but mean little now. I want the music to align to what I need at a given moment, and whether it does that via second wave lo-fi buzzing guitars, symphonic sweeping tremolo lines, or post rock shoegaze, it doesn’t matter in the end. I don’t need it to educate me, I need it to carry me – a weird thing to say about black metal, but there you go. And Garabontzia, the latest from Hungarian band Hænesy does that nicely, channeling post black metal whipped through a haze of reverb and ambient keyboard to deliver a spacious wave of noise that crashes in ever softening reverberations.
Are we still talking about black metal? Does it really matter?
Okay, so I cheated a little bit with this one. October Falls are not what anyone in their right mind would classify as “non-metal” but they are incredible, I will jump at the chance to review them anytime I can, and they have always had a way with mixing surprising elements into their brand of nature-inspired black metal. It seems that they are going to keep to that trend, and maybe throw some surprises out there, with their latest release, the all-acoustic Syys, which is also their second full-length release of this year. See? That’s my rationale.
There once was a band from Helsinki… I don’t have a limerick to tell but, now that I’ve got your attention let’s talk about Finnish black/folk band October Falls and their new release, A Fall of an Epoch. The band’s signature sound, described as “nature-oriented black metal,” is perfectly crafted here. This is a black metal album with folky, atmospheric interludes offering moments of peace and solitude between killer riffs and Mikko Lehto’s howling vocals. The perfect balance between the two musical styles makes for a beautiful and provoking album. Continue reading →