I, Voidhanger Records | 12-8-17
I was halfway through reviewing this project’s 2015 debut before realizing it was released in 2015. Because of this, I can now see the scope of The Clearing Path as not just an atmospheric black metal act with more interesting aesthetic rather a black metal project that starts on earth and ascends to the stars.
Watershed Between Firmament And The Realm of Hyperborea follows the project’s debut Watershed Between Earth and Firmament. For anyone confused, Firmament is a cosmological divide between the sky and heaven (sort of) and Hyperborea was the land of Ice Giants according to Greek Mythology. Both of these themes that have been placed in the titles heralds a black metal record bent on exploring the cosmos through shrieks and fretless bass. Though I am not usually into progressive black, The Clearing Path succeeds beyond all measure and creates a record I am sure will be a hit with people needing this type of music. The question is no will anyone hear it. This record is being handled by I, Voidhanger Records which means a good shot for this to be heard by more than less people. The fact it is being released at the end of the year doesn’t bode well for any end of the year list however. Regardless of anything, the pace and focus of The Clearing Path doesn’t seem to follow normal calendrical systems rather something more ancient and astral.
Self Released | 5-30-16
There are sometimes when an album or even a band can baffle you to the point of taking a while to process. There are sometimes when a band’s sound is so untraceable that it develops a type of charm in its mystery. This is what the Texas based band Haunter is doing. This is what Haunter is doing. While the style of cryptic black/death has been well explored, this Texas based band is riding through the cavernous sound on a rickety progressive rollercoaster. Unlike even other bands who do the same thing, Haunter’s dedication or addiction to lo-fi production and destruction makes this release a treat or complete fucking puzzle for some people.
Nuclear War Now Productions | 12-2-14
StarGazer has a really weird history and presence. The band began in the mid 90’s but saw their first release decades later. The members of this collective also share duties in other bands including Mournful Congregation. 2010’s A Greet Work of Ages found its way on many end of the year lists with a large push from then current record label Profound Lore. Nuclear War Now is supporting the band’s third record which continues the development of the space between stars and and madness. In some strange world, StarGazer is the nexus between all forms of metal and everyone has no further need of air, food, and water.
Self Released | 7-4-14
At this moment, unbeknownst to most people, there is something interesting happening in Australia. Plumbing the depths of lesser known heavy metal brings to light some wonderful acts and extraordinary albums which have gone may have been all together forgotten or never heard. Vyrion has been around since the late 00’s with their first release in 2011. I speak with surprise that there hasn’t been more of a commotion as Vyrion’s competency in making forceful black metal is astounding with Geo, the band’s second record, a continuation in a mid-fi progressive odyssey.