It’s been a good long while since I’ve heard an album with as many moments that made me stop in my tracks and say “wait…how the fuck did he just pull that off?” as there are on Forever Resonating in Blood, the forthcoming sophomore full-length from New Brunswick-based one-man black metal project Feral. I’m not even going to bother trying to list all of the elements at play on the album, for two reasons. First, to do so would probably push this piece north of a thousand words, and no one wants to read that much in what’s supposed to be a track premiere. Second, if I tried to run through even half of them, readers might come to the (completely understandable but) erroneous conclusion that the record is the aural equivalent of the durian, the so-called southeast Asian ‘king of fruits’ that’s said to smell like a combination of onions, turpentine, raw sewage, and old sweat socks. It might taste like ambrosia, but there’s no way in hell I’m pushing through that stench of hot garbage in order to find out.
But fear not, Vault Hunters - there’s no durian fruit to be found here. Feral (the musician) takes an astonishing number of chances on Forever Resonating in Blood, and they damn near all pay off, which makes listening to Feral (the band) an endlessly engrossing experience.
On the album’s epic closer “As I Kneel Before Your Grave,” which we’re stoked to be premiering below, Feral brings a new element into play: a mandolin. A certain subset of black metal fans will likely immediately think of Panopticon after reading that, but in truth the opening minute or so of the song sounds closer in spirit to something from Out of Time-era R.E.M. or Steve Earle than any kind of folk/black metal. When the distorted guitars come in, the track straddles the line between the aggression of early Burzum and Ulver and the NWOBMH-leaning tendencies of Rebel Wizard. As with the rest of the record, the vocals sound positively feral (I lasted almost 350 words before using that – but alas, in the end I’m only human) and act as a counterpoint to the more melodic aspects of some of the riffs.
The best part of “As I Kneel Before Your Grave,” though, has to be the two-and-a-half minute guitar solo that closes both the song and the album. Lead breaks aren’t exactly a common trope in black metal. However, Feral totally makes it work here, primarily because he opts for a more expressive lead style a la someone like Dinosaur Jr’s J Mascis (did I mention there are a lot of non-metal influences on this record?) than any sort of technical flash.
His emotive approach to that stretch of playing might stem from his thought process behind the track. When asked for a few words about “As I Kneel Before Your Grave,” Feral offered:
“This is the second single leading up to the release of Forever Resonating In Blood. A very personal one for reflecting melancholy aggression and earthbound sorrow. Other than that, it’s best to let the track speak for itself. “
Forever Resonating In Blood will be available on November 3 from Horror Pain Gore Death Productions. It can be preordered at this location.