If you’re anything like me, the amount of experimental black metal on the market right now excites the hell outta you. Be it post, folk, melodic or noise-infused, there are more unorthodox black metal bands than you can shake a cross at, and the train doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. I like to think I’m fairly well-versed and knowledgeable when it comes to black metal, but every once in a while I’m hit with something I’ve never encountered before.
Case in point: Hoofmark. What makes this one-man project so special? Well, for one thing I had never heard a band described as “wild west black metal,” let alone a band from Portugal adopting the moniker, before becoming familiar with Hoofmarks. Rather than the tired old “Satan this, Baphomet that” we’ve heard from so many of their peers, Hoofmark spin yarns of outlaws and bandits, cowboys and sheriffs, and of the rugged and lawless west.
“Amongst a Sea of Darkness” from the band’s debut LP, Stoic Winds scratches all the right itches for me. Good riffs, an interesting concept (and one that doesn’t take itself too seriously), smart songwriting, and some seriously gross vocals. If you’re the type of person who likes their music grim and nasty, but still has a big enough funnybone to chuckle at the video of Abbath eating shit down a hill, it’s a safe bet Hoofmark will make a fan out of you.
You can stream “Amongst a Sea of Darkness” below. You can also preorder the CD from Ultraje Records here.