Ifing – Against This Weald [US, Black / Folk] (2014)

Blood Music | 5-6-14

Blood Music | 5-6-14

I think we may have found a contender for best atmopheric / synth arrangements in black metal for the year. Last year, this honor went to Utah based act Caladan Brood while this year looks like the time for Ifing. Yes, I know that word looks like I left off half of the word but it belongs to a Michigan based duo who have come out of and from the middle of nowhere to bring a black metal record which has atmosphere stacked in reserves. What is that? The first 4 minutes is all woozy synthscape? I love it already.

Ifing’s debut follows a small stirring on the internet with coverage and promotion coverage provided by sites like Decibel and Stereogum. This is not surprising as the band’s blend of progressive folk atmosphere over top of shrieking vocals is reminiscent of bands like Enslaved, Agalloch, and Drudkh. If one was wondering if flutes within black metal could work, the answer, according it Ifing, is always yes. Against This Weald surpasses all expectations and seeing that there were none this record soars a surprising distance.

Against This Weald works on so many levels from fierce black metal to melodic atmosphere. The vocals, while nearly croaked, are still an effective and unique addition to the multiple layers that Against This Weald offers. If I sound surprised at all, it is probably because a record with this amount of focus only comes around every so often. The album’s closing track solidifies this record as one of the more interesting and dazzling black metal records of the year. This is pretty good considering I never heard of Ifing until a few days ago.