Terra Deep / Hyperborean Skies – Mariposa [US, Black] (2014)

Manicidic Black / Mysterious Stranger | 11-30-14

Manicidic Black / Mysterious Stranger | 11-30-14

I have stated before that one of the best ways to look for new bands is through splits. Usually splits will showcase two or even three bands you may or may not be aware of. Sometimes, splits will showcase a couple of bands as well as a new label. Mysterious Stranger lives up to its name as a new label that has one release to their name, which is this one. What Mysterious Stranger lacks in experience they make up for in potential. If future releases are as interesting as the Mariposa split, then I would be more than willing to start collecting libraries of their cassettes.

Mariposa begins with Terra Deep, a one man project Pacific Northwest helmed by Matt Edwards. While many one man bedroom black metal projects lean on the atmospheric side, Terra Deep embraces the hostility of the second wave with near lo fi recordings that are just as confrontational as they are entertaining. Add to this the synth backing and penchant for progressive interludes and one has a two songs which are just as confusing as they are wonderful. If Terra Deep was an odd start, Hyperborean Skies is a wacky ending for Mariposa. Based in the midwest, this Oklahoma project takes the DSBM template and showers it with oppositional elements including progressive bass, folk undertones, and electronic atmosphere. While all of this sounds negative, the few songs from Hyperborean Skies is nothing but an irresistible side show which is just as fun to experience as it is to ponder.

By the closing track “Cascade,” the listener is both stumped and convinced at the possibility of splits containing self released talent which may never be heard by the larger public. This split is weird but delightful. Mariposa has its share of odd flair but the fact that it isn’t standard bedroom black metal is something that is refreshing. Both one man black metal projects plus the the potential of Mysterious Stranger Productions leads to a release that is well worth the price of “Name Your Price.”