An underrated aspect of the EP format--consistently beloved and well respected 'round these parts--is the opportunity to focus on the elements of one's craft that doesn't always fit in the formal confines of an album proper. As such, a shorter release is a form of expression that often feels more loose and more exploratory. In the case of Forever Autumn's forthcoming 3-track, Hail The Forest Dark, the intrinsic informality of the release allows, in the words of Autumn Ni Dubhghail, the space for a "temporary departure" from the band's traditional work--namely, an amalgamation of acoustic doom/blackened folk.
Needless to say: as someone who enjoys witnessing these little tangents in an artist's overall catalog, I'm a sucker for releases that don't feel the need to overload the audience with an abundance. I'm also a sucker for premièring cool music, and "Amoung the Roots," today's track in question, certainly fits, well, both bills.
Without further ado, give it a listen below. As always, we'll meet ye on the other side!
"Composed by human, played by physical robots." Frankly, Electromancy's is one of the more intriguing elevator pitches that has slid across my desk here at Ye Olde Sleeping Village Industries. Besides piquing curiosity in regards to the actual sound of the purported experimental black/death metal, the notion of robots playing music raises a lot of questions on a practical level. As it turns out, this is no mere gimmick: composer Satyra was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2018, which made playing instruments an impossibility. As such, they spent two years designing robots specifically for the task at hand: playing the music.
Given the potential complexity in ability, Electromancy is able to do things that human instrumentalists are not. That alone presents a very existing avenue for exploration, and on "The Spark," the track (and accompanying video) that we are pleased to present here today, a taste of that potential experimentation and oddity is on full display. However, before we scare you away with our ramblings, we recommend giving "The Spark" a watch and listen below. See those robots in action!
When it comes to a concept album, the best (and arguably only) place to begin is...well, the beginning. Nosocomial, the forthcoming release from North Carolinian solo black/death/prog/etc. act Iōhannēs certainly qualifies as conceptual in scope--although the particulars of its narrative nature are a bit of an unknown at this time. The story itself will inevitably become a little more clear across the expanse, but for now, we're left with a few pieces to the puzzle: a brief artist statement in the bandcamp bio as well as the intro track, the latter of which we are happy to premiere here today in all of its haunting glory.
Without further ado, give the excellent and evocative "Surgery Theater" a listen below. We'll meet ye on the other side!
For any of ye beleaguered souls familiar with Lörd Matzigkeitus' storied career, (The Projectionist, The Black Sorcery, Thy Sepulchral Moon), it should come as no surprise that his third solo outing is a tortured beast. From the Many Splintered Minds is an impassioned reflection of a dislocated, unfamiliar, and startlingly earnest psyche, and today, we are honored to present this album's nightmarishly compelling third track. You can find the (appropriately entitled) Nightmares Woven Upon the Day below.
This track's nearly 9 minute runtime--and the depraved expanse of the album as a whole--is not a journey, despite encompassing an unstable ride through black metal’s nuanced and diverse outlets. Rather, it is a seemingly accurate portrait of the titular shattered mind, undeniably complex in its construction. Tortured and expressive, acutely schizophrenic, bleakly manic. Utterly demented. Utterly...unwhole. At no point, I might add, does it feel like a mockery or a facsimile.
Instrumentally, longtime collaborator Orpheus has concocted a soundscape both wretched and uncanny. There's an unnatural disorder to Nightmares Woven Upon the Day's composition, and above the heartfelt cacophony, Lörd Matzigkeitus dynamic treatises reign supreme. There's no doubt: the sheer range of the Lörd's vocal capacity is a primary draw--here, his voice is central to both the sonic and thematic weaves of the track as a whole. Self-soothing asphyxiated whispers gurgle and groan, rising (or perhaps falling) into animalistic ravings, throat-wrenching and tangibly pained. Despite the aggressive and otherwise unrelenting tones, there's something naked and vulnerable on display. A truly dynamic performance, in multiple senses of the word.
...But enough of my blathering. Lörd Matzigkeitus himself--who notoriously has a way with words--sums up the intent and the impact far better than I:
“'Nightmares Woven Upon the Day' started out as a conversation with a deeply suicidal person who reached out to me during a moment of excessive self harm. I suggested that if they wrote down how they felt to me, I’d transform the grief that consumed them in those moments into a song that would cathartically purge the negativity and become something more than fleeting anguish. I took the skeleton of that, and fleshed it out into my poetic style to create a haunting, sincere piece.
The music Orpheus (of Sartoraaus lore) created is what I consider to be his best. It grieves, punishes and has a movement and dynamic that is akin to classical pieces. It's a track that begs absorption and contemplation.
This above all the tracks on this album shows the broad spectrum of everything black metal can be, and also the rancorous range of my voice.”
Well said. Listen to Nightmares Woven Upon the Day here:
Lörd Matzigkeitus - From the Many Splintered Minds will be released April 26th from Appalachian Noise Records. Preorders can be found here. Physical release limited to 50 copies on CD, with half of them being housed in custom, handmade leather/wooden boxes.
Lörd Matzigkeitus can be found:
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry.
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