As ye eagle-eyed readers may note, we published a review of this very same album, like, just a few days ago. However, we just couldn't deny Izzy--the Sleeping Village's self-proclaimed reviewer of all things screamy, dreamy, and inbetweeny--a chance to discuss the latest opus from Infant Island. Enjoy this review redux! - Ed.
Not too long ago I reviewed Infant Island’s latest EP, Sepulcher, and along with my mountains of praise for the band, I promised I would do a full-length write-up on the LP they had just announced, Beneath. I fully intended on fulfilling that promise, so here we are. I’ve been in love with this Virginia post-hardcore/screamo revival outfit since I first discovered them in 2018 with their self titled album, and so I cannot wait to talk about it. (Despite taking a little over a week to actually write this due to circumstances beyond my control.)
Sepulcher blew my mind, so I came into this with high hopes, and Infant Island certainly delivered. However, this is truly an example of an album I love, but think could’ve been something more, or maybe something else. That said, I want to end this review on a positive note, so I’ll begin with my few complaints.
Written by: Ancient Hand
“Blackgaze” is a term that immediately disgusts and turns off purists of straight forward, Satan-worshipping, formulaic black metal. The image of modern hipsters wearing skinny jeans while writing black metal in basements is stomach-churning to some who would rather imagine 90’s hipsters wearing skinny jeans while writing black metal in basements. “Blackgaze” is a term openly embraced by Canada’s Unreqvited. Tagged on the project’s new album, Empathica, is the controversial term itself. Additionally, the album is self-described to contain “shimmering blackgaze melodies and grandiose orchestral segments.”
The second part of this description, though, is where the innovation lies. We’ve all heard an album make use of beautiful guitar melodies paired with tremolo picking and relentless drumming, but Unreqvited’s ability to roll symphonic and orchestral elements into the music is quite groundbreaking when experienced on this new LP.
Written by: Volt Thrower
Hailing from Milan, Italy, is the lone and sole cosmic black death metal unit Cosmic Putrefaction. The mysteriously monikered G.G. is back to provide all vocals and instruments on the second full length release for this project, The Horizons Towards Which Splendour Withers, on I, Voidhanger Records, out May 22nd. There has been some considerable hype surrounding this album in the metal twittersphere, and it absolutely crushes expectations. I feel truly blessed to have been given a sneak peek at an album sure to crack many end of year lists. So far it has been a brutal blackhole of a year, but the metal releases have been solid and consistent, somehow managing to escape the devastation of the shitty supernova known as 2020. Cosmic Putrefaction manages to put their name straight to top of the list with this scathing, six song symphony of destruction.
Written by: The Voiceless Apparition
There is darkness within all of us; it doesn't matter who you are. Rather, it all matters on how you handle it. Some resort to writing lyrics, painting, or various other art forms. Unfortunately some pick more destructive means. Sojourner does the former, using melancholy as a tool to add to their already highly atmospheric blend of black metal and folk metal. Premonitions marks the third album from the international atmospheric metal band, and their first album on new label Napalm Records. Do they succeed in expanding their darker and more melancholy emotions on this album? Let us begin.
"The Monolith" begins on a grand note. We are greeted to the gorgeous vocals of guitarist/clean vocalist Chloe Bray, who's voice really helps add to the scope of this tune. You are transported to a vast open field with the music taking you by the hand and comforting you on your journey.
Written by: Lord Hsrah
Swedish metal outfit Katatonia's first full-length release, Dance of December Souls, is a monumental record that helped shape the then-evolving doom metal scene, particularly as the influence of death metal started creeping into Europe and consequently into their music as well. Dance of December Souls is a wild ride of sorts through various emotions, all on the negative side of the human nature. And though this monolith of an album provided the blueprint of music for a myriad of other such doom and death fusing bands, this craft was still left wanting on certain fronts. In contrast though, on a few other fronts, it explored domains that would go on to become the band's path to further evolution down the long road of their career.
Do you remember the 2011 internet sensation that was Potion Seller? Our dear apothecary here at the Sleeping Village was nearly ruined by said video back in the day--besides the sudden mistrust in the potion selling industry, people kept asking him for potent quotables. As such, he was extremely resistant to the notion of us giving any publicity to that which endangered his livelihood (and his sanity.) But tyranny rules, and so here we are.
For those unfamiliar: one fateful day, one Justin Kuritzkes posted a video in which he utilized the glorious photo booth distortion filter to record dialogue between a knight and a potion seller who flat-out refuses to sell the knight any of his potions. Hilarity ensues, as did the tributes that inevitably spawn from virality. If you hadn't already guessed: the band in question today is, indeed, an overt tribute.
Written: The Voiceless Apparition
I just want to preface this review by saying that I'm a Rae Amitay fan. I think she is a highly original, unique, and diverse musician in a world full of rip-offs and corner-cutters. Be it Immortal Bird, her work with Thrawsunblat, etc., she puts her distinctive stamp on all of these projects. So when I heard the news that she was making her own band in which she composes and writes everything, I was ecstatic. errant is described by Rae as "a vehicle for realizing ideas that exist in a separate space from Immortal Bird", and that has me intrigued.
Right off the bat, this EP is significantly different than anything she has ever done before. The opening track "The Amorphic Burden" alone runs the gamut of alternative rock, post-metal, and small tinges of black metal. The dynamics in this song are beautiful; the way this song flows between the more melodic and subdued parts and the more intense and heavy sections is particularly well done. I'm really loving the melodies in this song as well. "The Amorphic Burden" proves the point that metal can have hooks and still be kickass.
“…people will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own souls. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious…”
Written by: Cantina
A possibly controversial (?) statement: music is mostly made of repressed and/or unspeakable emotions. Long lost are the times when I somehow believed black metal musicians’ real life persona coincided with the fictitious one, that wherever they went, gloom and misery accompanied them. In fact, it’s quite the opposite: black metal would be a metaphysical gold mine for Jungian scholars. This genre is the Shadow Self of metal music (of any music type, for that matter). I would go as far as saying that a proper understanding of Carl Gustav Jung’s philosophy will give you the knowledge to understand what is going on in the seemingly “twisted” mind of any musician.
Black metal is of course a prime example of that.
Our boisterous and loud-mouthed town crier has gathered you all here today, to this ramshackle town square, for two reasons. The first--and the more significant, in a sense--is to draw your attention to a forthcoming compilation created by the recently birth’d Hope Vs. Hate. Said record label have announced their first charity compilation, Hope In The Face Of Fear, proceeds of which will go to benefit and support the excellent work done by Humanity Gives.
It all goes to a great cause, which would be exciting enough...but get a load of this roster. Bull Of Apis Bull Of Bronze, Neckbeard Deathcamp, Sacred Son, Vvishfield, Heretoir, Underdark, Order Of The Wolf, Christwvrks, Sadness, No Point In Living, Advent Varic, Goblinsmoker, Pessimista, Unreqvited, Allfather, Putrescine and Kaddish all, so it has been uttered, make appearances. Music, in other words, to my ears. If that wasn’t exciting enough, the compilation announcement was heralded by another band of note--Necropanther. Which brings me to the second reason we are here--to review this icy-fresh new single, recently premiered by the excellent folks over at Astral Noize.
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.
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!