Mark here, owner of Fólkvangr Records, a US based black metal record label. Rewind, Repeat is a monthly guest column here at Indy Metal Vault that will shed some light on albums you may have missed, forgotten about, or just seemed to have gotten lost in your “I’ll play this one later” pile when you decided to listen to Blackwater Park again for the 200th time.
Living in the desert, you learn to adapt to a lot of extreme conditions. Even our vegetation is hostile, covered in deadly thorns and thriving on little to no sustenance at all. However, in the heart of summer, the sun spews out a near constant stream of putrid UV rays and even the toughest among us begin to crack and crumble like the dry Earth beneath our feet. If Frodo and Sam thought climbing Mount Doom was brutal, they should have tried getting in their car after working a nine hour shift, only to have their sunglasses literally melt onto the skin of their faces. In this situation, there are two options for the desert dwelling folk. You can absorb all this heat and become the literal embodiment of misery and hate, or you can seek refuge indoors. Of course, the benefit of becoming a seasonal cave dweller is that you have a lot more time to listen to music. Especially while you attempt to do things like turn your body into an evaporative cooler by standing naked in front a box fan after what you had hoped would be a cold, refreshing shower turned out to be a slightly warmer than room temperature soaking because the water just doesn’t care that you have the faucet turned all the way onto the coldest setting…
1476 – Smoke In The Sky
Salem, Massachusetts | Dark Atmospheric Art Rock
Have you ever had a band where you felt it was your personal mission to champion them and spread the gospel to anyone who would listen? 1476 are that band for me. If you ask me for a musical recommendation, this is what you are getting. Robb and Neil operate on another plane of musical being as they are able to fluidly bend genres so adeptly that I can’t even fully describe them with words. I just tell people to listen and let the songs do the work for me. I could easily have chosen their new album Our Season Draws Near which came out in March of this year on Prophecy Records, but now that we are in the summer months, I feel like the tracks on Smoke In The Sky just lend themselves better to the mood I have been in. In particular “To Draw the Fifteen” and the live versions of “Good Morning, Blackbird” and “To Call Up Smoke” have been bringing me way more joy than I deserve.
Chaos Moon – Resurrection Extract
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | Melodic Black Metal
When I think of Chaos Moon, I think of wailing vocals, haunting melody and so much aural aggression that sometimes I don’t understand how one person can write all of this by himself. Alex seems to have a bottomless well of talent and he drags these riffs up from the murky depths by the bucket. Resurrection Extract is one of those albums where you can’t just listen to one song, or pick it up part way through. It has to be listened to from beginning to end without pause. I think part of this is due to the fact that the distorted, spacey guitars in the intro track “Seeing Through One I” seem to mutate and weave their way between tracks acting as a seamless transition on this journey. The other part is that these songs were put together in a very specific order and have a flow to them that feels very natural and purposeful. As a side note, I heard if you mail Alex some Magic: The Gathering cards (pre-8th edition rares only please) he will send you some dark trap beats he has been working on.
Cuélebre – Oinos
Spain | Medieval Folk
I would be lying if I said that the amount of folk music I have been listening to this summer wasn’t a direct result of getting caught up on the newest season of Vikings on Amazon. The amazing songs that Einar Selvik of Wardruna has put together are perfect for setting the mood and pace of the show, but in any case, I love listening to stuff like this all year round. I found Cuélebre by way of Eliwagar (mentioned below) and there is just something really fun and catchy about this album. The driving drum beat in the opening track “Fodder For the Raven” lifts you up while the acoustic guitar passage and spoken-word section in the following track “Amergin’s Chant” seem to hypnotize and bring you to a deeper place of contemplation. If you like the mouth harp and reading Forgotten Realms novels, you will find a lot to like in Oinos.
Gaoth – Dying Season’s Glory
Wexford, Ireland | Atmospheric Black Metal
I make it a point to check out what Austin Lunn (Panopticon) has been listening to on Bandcamp a few times a month and it always pays off. If you wanted someone to curate an atmospheric black metal collection for you, he would be the guy. Dying Season’s Glory is the debut full length album from one man project Gaoth, and I hope there is a lot more on the way. Sole member F.S. seems to have boiled down all the best parts of bands like Agalloch and Falls of Rauros and conjured up pure magic. This is definitely going to be in heavy rotation for the next few months while I dream of cooler, greener places. Knowing that Gaoth is signed to Northern Silence Productions makes complete and total sense. They fit in well with the roster over there and I hope they put this out on some other formats other than just CD, it deserves it.
Lustmord – The Word As Power
Los Angeles, California | Dark Ambient
Some albums are capable of transporting you to another time and place completely and The Word As Power is one of them. I couldn’t tell you a single track name on this album other than “Babel” and that is because I just put it on and get completely lost in it. After four years of listening, I still don’t really notice when one track ends and the next begins. All of this speaks to the extreme talent of Brian Williams and his ability to tell a story through his music. I actually discovered Lustmord while reading the book Still Life with Crows by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child back in 2003. In it, a very stereotypical teenage goth girl named Corrie Swanson spends a hot Kansas Summer playing chauffeur to a genteel Southern special agent in the FBI while subjecting him to music by Lustmord and Cryptopsy, among other artists. In my teenage mind, I think I had a bit of a crush on Corrie, so I made it a point to check out all the things she was listening to and Lustmord has stuck with me ever since.
Necrot – Blood Offerings
Oakland, California | Brutal Old School Death Metal
I have been excited to listen to Blood Offerings by Bay Area death metallers Necrot for the past few months and it definitely does not disappoint. This album has already got me through multiple sets of squats and deadlifts this Summer and it will continue to do so well into the Winter months. I have been playing this album in the gym, at work, in the car, really it goes well with anything you are doing. When the temperature is creeping dangerously close to 120°F (49°C), it helps to have the gnarly tunes to match the heat. I was lucky enough to get to see Necrot play a lot of these songs live earlier this week and it really brings this album to a whole new level of insanity. If you get a chance to see Necrot, you better not miss it. In true If You Give A Mouse A Cookie form, if you give me a Necrot album to listen to, I am immediately going to transition to Bloodbath’s Nightmares Made Flesh as soon as it’s done.
Eliwagar – I Vølven’s Vev
Kati Ran – LYS
Sowulo – SOL