Tag Archives: 2011

Barn Owl – Lost in the Glare (2011)

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Tracklist:
1. Pale Star
2. Turiya
3. Devotion I
4. The Darkest Night Since 1683
5. Temple of the Winds
6. Midnight Tide
7. Light Echoes
8. Devotion II

I must admit that I’ve actually never heard of Barn Owl until a good friend of mine (Drakemirow) pointed out that they have released a new album. You must know that the whole genre of drone is a rather difficult one for me because there are many, many bands that I virtually don’t like but at the same time I came across the most breathtaking and tripping music I’ve ever listened to. Barn Owl is one of these artists that literally take me to other places when I’m losing myself in their sounds. I can’t figure out what exactly arouses these feelings. It has to be the sheer otherworldly composition and the almost perfect dynamics of dreamy interludes with folkish influences. Well, if there is anything left to say… this album is a masterpiece.

USA, 2011
Drone, Ambient, Psychedelic
Website/Listen

4.75/5.0

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Burzum – From the Depths of Darkness (2011)

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Tracklist:
1. The Coming (Introduction)
2. Feeble Screams From Forests Unknown
3. Sassu Wunnu (Introduction)
4. Ea, Lord of the Depths
5. Spell of Destruction
6. A Lost Forgotten Sad Spirit
7. My Journey to the Stars
8. Call of the Siren (Introduction)
9. Key to the Gate
10. Turn the Sign of the Microcosm (Snu Mikrokosmos’ Tegn)
11. Channeling the Power of Minds into a new God

No need to introduce Burzum, so let’s get straight to my thoughts about ‘From the Depths of Darkness’, a compilation of re-recordings of some older stuff from ‘Burzum’ and ‘Det Som Engang Var’. This release had quite an impact on me because I hadn’t cherished Varg’s solo outputs that much as yet (apart from ‘Hvis Lyset Tvar Oss’). However, after listening to his newest effort it kinda struck me that this man has some huge talent as a musician. I didn’t remember that his older releases were that entertaining and atmospheric at the same time. Comparing the re-recordings to the original tracks it’s rather easy to say that the rawness (especially of the vocals) of the original versions makes them a lot better than the new ones with their more clean, at some parts even ridiculously happy (‘My Journey to the Stars’) sound. But ‘From the Depths of Darkness’ is no bad release at all. I admit, for ingrained Burzum fans it could be a (huge?) disappointment. On the contrary, ‘I-don’t-really-have-a-clue-about-Burzum-but-I’m-talking-about-it-nonetheless’-people as me gain the oppurtunity to fully discover Varg’s musical potential.

Norway, 2011
Black Metal
Website

3.0/5.0

Tenhi – Saivo (2011)

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Tracklist:
1. Saivon Kimallus
2. Pojan Kiiski
3. Uloin
4. Pienet Purot
5. Sateen Soutu
6. Haaksi
7. Surunuotta
8. Savoie
9. Vuoksi
10. Paluu Joelle
11. Sees
12. Siniset Runot

Being part of my life since the release of ‘MaaƤet’ in 2006, Tenhi could always impress with marvelous, melancholic and atmospheric folk rock. Thus I was really eager about the new album ‘Saivo’ – and wasn’t disappointed. Tenhi surely didn’t reinvent themselves with their new release but they are able to consequently enrich the tried and trusted with varying accents without losing the typical Tenhi sound. ‘Saivo’ is a perfect album for quiet winter nights in order to escape everyday life. And surely one of this year’s highlights.

Behold the vast finnish tundra.

Finland, 2011
Folk-Rock, Melancholic, Dark Ambient
Website || Video to ‘Siniset Runot’

4.5/5.0

The Good Natured – Skeleton (2011)

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Tracklist:
1. Skeleton
2. Wolves

I discovered ‘The Good Natured’ through my girlfriend a few months ago. She dug up the song ‘Your Body Is A Machine’ and showed it to me. I kinda liked it and listened to it quite a few times. Last week I discovered that a new EP called ‘Skeleton’ was released. Incredibly catchy electronic pop (thanks to the singer’s british accent). There are only two new songs but both of them are astonishingly performed and are quite the earworms. I don’t quite know which one’s the best but I catch myself humming ‘Wolves’ more often. It certainly has the vibe:

United Kingdom, 2011
Electropop, Female Vocalists
Website

4.25/5.0

Cara Neir – Stagnant Perceptions (2011)

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Tracklist:
1. Imperialist Design
2. Return to Torquemada
3. Two-Faced and Tight-Lipped
4. Dethroned and Leprous
5. The Bridge of Despise
6. Amaranthine Figures
7. Temporal Realm
8. The Apothecary
9. Limitless Drift
10. My Apology
11. Not Enough

I stumbled upon ‘Cara Neir’ rather by accident than on purpose through another blog (Unfortunately, I can’t remember its name). The short review appealed to me and because the album can be downloaded for free(!!) I just couldn’t say no. You can expect a 40-minute rollercoaster ride between black metal, crust and sludge without a grain of boredom. ‘Stagnant Perception’ is a supremely entertaining album that reveals further details after each listen. And as I already mentioned: for free!

USA, 2011
Black Metal, Crust, Sludge
Website || Download

4.5/5.0

Klabautamann – The Old Chamber (2011)

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Tracklist:
1. Mary’s Abbey
2. Bog Spawn
3. Dead Marshes
4. The Crown of the Wild
5. Gloom
6. The Old Chamber
7. Death’s Canvas
8. The Maze
9. Black Rain
10. The Dying Night

Klaubautamann are quite renowned as an avantgardistic german black metal act. Especially ‘Merkur’ (2009) caused a stir and enabled them to establish themselves as some sort of pioneers in the scene. Back then, they were pretty jazzy and experimental, whilst ‘The Old Chamber’ represents a more classical, straight-forward style of black metal. Which isn’t bad at all. Fitting vocals, catchy riffs and a proper dose of atmosphere (served with incredibly cool artwork) make their fourth release one of the better german albums this year. It isn’t as experimental as its predecessors but it has the certain characteristic feeling to it that makes it stand out against a lot of other releases.

Germany, 2011
Atmospheric Black Metal, Avantgarde
Website || Listen

3.5/5.0

Wolvhammer – The Obsidian Plains (2011)

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Tracklist:
1. The Gleaming
2. Writhe
3. Bones of the Pious
4. Ghosts in the Water
5. Shadowhorn
6. A Defiled Aesthetic
7. The Sentinels

I didn’t know much about Wolvhammer when I listened to this album the first time. If I remember correctly I had caught a glimpse on their debut ‘Black Marketeers of World War III’ but I couldn’t quite recall the sound of it. So I went onto this release completely unbiased. And hell, was I blown away. Wolvhammer combines fierce black metal with the rather chaotic elements of crust with some very sludge-y interludes. It’s an incredibly intense mixture that enthralls me throughout the whole album. Especially ‘Writhe’ and ‘The Sentinels’ stand out on this release. The former because of its frenetic abrasiveness and gloom, the latter due to its very emotional climax (what an epic ending riff!). Overall, I don’t think that Wolvhammer could have done this in any better way.

USA, 2011
Black Metal, Sludge, Crust
Website/Listen

4.75/5.0