- Sear Bliss
- Letters From The Edge
- Black metal/Post metal
A lone wind instrument patrols the beach at night using its deeply toned sounds to unearth tasty licks from within the sand. That’s basically how I would describe this black metal album that uses a lot of trombone. The story narrated by a grim dark vocalist who dishes out plenty of standard but enjoyable black metal growls. It’s dark, it’s hard but it also has a heap of atmosphere. In 2018 a lot of bands are coming out wielding exotic instruments to thicken their soundscapes – and its working to be honest.
Yet another black metal band returns to the craft in 2018 for the first time in half a decade. It seems to be the year of the dark comeback. Historically Sear Bliss has been well received and that will continue with my review today. Black metal with folk and atmospheric elements are out there right now creating up a storm with a large arsenal of instruments at their disposal. This style of music takes the musicianship to the next level as additional sounds are being produced and managed within the overall score. Relying on multi-instrumental talent of individual members.
Letters From The Edge has a more relaxed feel to it than a lot of the releases this year. It opens the tracks slowly with an almost blues approach to the guitar. It’s slow, brooding and sets up the next riff with anticipation. Once the rummaging begins, the guitars pick up and start putting out the buzz of a whole bee colony. The drums are patient as they wait in hunger for their next series of beatings – and they don’t always come. These aren’t aggressive rhythms.
I like these sorts of vocals because despite being real gruff you can still make out the lyrics well if you listen hard enough. They go along with the music with a lot of purpose and aren’t over used or used inappropriately. The instruments get plenty of moments to create a current to take your mind away. Adrift. The guitars and bass are also quite interesting at times, creating sounds that are far more upbeat or bright than you’d typically find within this genre. Something along the lines of what Deafheaven did with Ordinary Corrupt Human Love (review) but less in your face and consistent. It gives the overall vibe of post-metal compositions rather than simply adding atmosphere to a black metal album.
The outlandish instruments and keys aren’t obnoxious. In 2018 metal bands seem to have reached the perfect balance in collaboration and experimentation to produce a tight big band sound. It doesn’t get boring and repetitive because the music has so many different edges to explore and listen to. You could very well listen to a different instrument each time and get a different experience.
The Main Divide has one of my favorite endings to a track. It’s probably some of the most melodic moments on the whole album and its nice. The guitars still have a groove to them and roll the feelings ever outwards. The tones are consistent even with the shifts in key and tension, they have a good sound worked out and everything is mixed professionally.
A must have for any black metal collection and new discography for me to explore.