Fresh off the hunt, Capt. Graves smelled blood. He seems to like this one, which is always a relief. In any case, we're glad as always to have him back in his scrivener garb. - Ed.
Written by: Capt. Graves
It's been a while since I've stepped foot in the Village. I took myself on a mountainous retreat, staying away from humans as much as possible. Fortunately I was made for this type of apocalyptic survival measures. It reminds me of being back home on Tumulus, I couldn't be in a better position if I tried. I've had the pleasure of listening to some amazing backwoods Maine black metal, and it fucking delivers.
Here we have Feral. They haven't released an album since 2017, so I've been anxiously waiting for Circle Trap Kill to be bestowed upon the land. This is no frills black metal, they come out of the gate RIPPING. I can't get over the long intros in most black metal releases, but this one does nothing of the sort. Feral has caught my attention, and damn am I excited to have listened to this album at least 4 times since it's release yesterday.
Feral's guitar hooks in "Destroyer and Terminer" remind me of early Dimmu Borgir, and I mean that in the best way possible. There is a post rock/hardcore element that really makes this music catchy. The composition is true nitty-gritty black metal, and we know how much I love that. The vocals sound like this man has completely lost his mind in the woods, born from the wolves only to come to society and see that we are pathetic compared to their prowess.
"Circle Trap Kill" sees more of that post-black metal sound. This song is pure aggression, hostility, and angst. The end of this jam reminds of "conquer all" by Behemoth, and that's by far one of my favorite tracks by them. This song is outright fucking RAGE. In contrast, "Needle" comes in with almost an atmospheric quality, with dissonant guitar hooks, and a catchy lead going on underneath of it all. The bass is ever present in this track, and the mix is phenomenal. When I can hear the bass in a black metal track, I'm always elated. We get some clean ambient singing in the background of this one, and it fits so well with what's going on. I'm usually not the biggest fan of clean singing, but when it's used as more of a texture than a lead, I can really get into it.
"Void Craving Flesh" reminds me of our mighty GOD, Varic. The void that swallows planets whole, and oh boy do they crave flesh, thus why I have the taste. This track reminds me more of Old School Black Metal, just blasting through the fucking floor. I tend to turn towards a newer sound, but this track is done so well, I'll let it slide.
"In the Eyes of the One Who Stole the Fire" is just another aural assault. This band really understands what it takes to keep my attention. The bass player is picking some interesting notes, and they are perfection. This music has oomph, and fuck does it deliver. Nothing seems to be virtuousic, but oh so beautiful. Everyone doing their job, and making you feel like you're trapped in a cavern with the bears standing outside waiting for their attack.
Feral has made it very clear that they are a force to be reckoned with. The vocals are a bit monotone (with the occasional stray) but extremely fitting, as he seems to understand the pain endured from living in the wilderness, and the hunt, the guitar tones just wreak of that old black metal sound we all hold so dearly, the drums seemed to be a bit buried, and the cymbals reign supreme in some parts. As aforementioned, the bass guitar stands out and gives that monster sound they are going for.
This band is a prime example of where black metal is going, and I love the aesthetic. As a man of the mountains, I'm also considered "feral." So, obviously, this band name caught my eye immediately (plus I've been told their live show is fucking amazing).
As I sit here thinking of something I didn't like about this album, I honestly can't tell you one thing. For now, I'll head back up into my mountain post, and watch the world from afar. Saturn 9 has been reporting back to Varic with the works of our next album, and you just might catch us with Feral here in the next couple of months.
Instill the fear of Varic into your hearts, you'll find peace in pieces.
Feral - Circle Trap Kill was released March 17th. You can grab their album from their Bandcamp for $6.66 right now and give them a hand during these trying times.
Providing thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy, and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a groggy-eyed, highfalutin peasantry.