Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Bandcamp Picks - Celephaïs, Myrkur, Wolves in the Throne Room, An Autumn for Crippled Children

Five years since their ambitious 25 minute meisterwork Tir N'a n'Og (still phenomenal and still available for free), DoC faves Celephaïs are back with another bout of bleak folky instrumentals. Each track on Monad is a journey of tension and release - prosaic and contemplative one minute, bloodthirsty and unrestrained the next. As far as nature-themed black metal goes, you'll have a hard time finding anything that tops this. The album is available as a "name your price" download.

All the haters in the world haven't slowed down Myrkur. With her second album Mareridt, the erstwhile Amelie Bruun shows the songwriting prowess only hinted at on her unexpectedly divisive debut, letting her ethereal vocals traverse over black metal, gothy doom and neo-folk, along the way teaming up with fellow purveyor of Pitchfork-friendly darkness Chelsea Wolfe. Bruun probably won't end up being the cross-over star that Relapse is hoping for, but she brings a refreshing outsider's perspective to the heaviest of metals (not to mention some catchy tunes). No doubt everyone with a Von patch will hate it. [$10]

Wolves in the Throne Room have returned - for real, this time, and not as a synth rock band. Thrice Woven picks up where Celestial Lineage left off, augmenting the band's already epic forest metal with choral singing and acoustic passages without getting too twee about it. Not sure the bone dry recording (done by the band themselves) gives the songs the richness they require; certainly such passionate odes to nature and paganism deserve a fuller sound? Regardless, if anyone has forgotten why WITTR was such a monumental force in USBM, this should serve as a cogent reminder. [$9]

It may be heresy to describe any black metal as "pretty", but An Autumn For Crippled Children certainly make a case for it. Recorded in 2015, the three songs on morfine meld fuzzed out guitars, shuffling drums and sombre synth melodies for a sound as deeply rooted in Joy Division as it is in Burzum. An opiate haze in the northern sky. [€3]