Scouring Bandcamp has its benefits. While there is the inevitable burnt feeling when encountering the 100th atmospheric or second wave black metal record, there can be deep feeling of gratitutde with records which break formation. This is not to say all left field metal records are good rather they benefit from uniqueness when compared to the heavy metal norm. There is an expected loss of traditional harshness when traveling so far away from the expected but sometimes one can find something truly interesting with the right sense of adventure. Makrokosmos is the second true full length record from Petrychor and offers something that is truly cosmic and transcendental. I do not think it is anything you are expecting.
Petrychor is the work of Tad Piecka who seems to lend his services to a roster of bands that have no relation to heavy metal other than an intense interest in atmosphere. All of Piecka’s other projects reside in the ambient and instrumental neighborhood which makes sense given the nature of Petrychor. Petrychor takes that base of ethereal instrumentation and adds a backdrop of black metal. This is interesting given that it is a combination which is done in reverse to the normal mixture of atmospheric black metal. Petrychor’s obsession with comic themes similar to krautrock ambience makes its music unique in its presentation. While there are certainly aspects of harsh and dissonant black metal, the realms in which Makrokosmos travels with them is astounding.
To be completely okay with Makrokosmos, one has to come to terms with things like acoustic new age guitar, synthscapes, and the possibility that the music will travel into mystical deserts or crystalline alien cities. If one is ready for those types of journeys, then the addition of shrieking black vocals within those types of sounds is nothing but entertaining. It is important to note that these nontraditional elements do not make a black metal record good rather theses additions wielded by the right person make them outstanding. Petrychor may have little connection to the heavy metal world yet Makrokosmos does something that many other bands have tried and not done as successful as this.