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Track Premiere: AKASHA – “She Who Runs With Wolves”

I was just about to start this piece by saying something to the effect of how fascinating it’s been to watch Leech develop as a songwriter over the course of AKASHA‘s three releases. Then I thought about it for a second and realized that his debut Consuming the Soul only just came out last June, and the Vibrations Of Blood And Hate split followed in September. That makes Canticles Of The Sepulchral Deity his third offering in a span of nine months.

Yeah…you exactly know where I’m going with that. But if you have a spare 90 minutes to listen to his discography straight through, it does sound like AKASHA has gone through a gestation process over the last nine months. That would make Canticles Of The Sepulchral Deity the first release from the fully developed organism, which is actually a pretty good way to describe it. Fuck calling it ‘mature’ or ‘polished’ or any of that sort of nonsense – instead, think of Canticles as the release where Leech has grown into himself.

Based on what he told my Kvltists in the Vault partner Dex in an interview for Black Metal Daily, he was aware that Canticles was moving in a different direction as he was working on it, and admitted that he

had a great deal of doubt that the album wouldn’t be well received after I had finished writing it. I felt I was straying too far from the conventional “raw black metal” path and was worried that the small amount of people who were interested in my musick would not appreciate what I’d created. Now that I’ve had some time to distance myself from the creative process and take in the album as a whole, I feel like I was able to capture something unique, with an atmosphere all its own.

Since the album doesn’t drop until March 15 and the first press of 100 LPs are already sold out, I’d say he was worried for nothing.

We’re excited to be premiering “She Who Runs With Wolves” here today at the Vault. In the promotional materials, Leech explained that his goal with Canticles was to “capture the spirit and characteristics of the feminine archetype through a personal interpretation of these Divine Feminine characteristics – and a very wrathful one at that.” While there are multiple songs on the album that reflect that approach, I was immediately drawn to “She Who Runs With Wolves” for an entirely different reason – its title is more than a little reminiscent of Clarissa Pinkola Estés’s well-known, highly influential book Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype. That book has had a particular significance in my life as of late, and I may or may not have asked Leech whether the similarities in the titles was just a coincidence…but if I did, I’m having trouble recalling his answer. Either way, there are strong magicks at work in the music, and the only reason I’m not calling it a standout track is that the album is so strong from start to finish that every track is basically a standout.

Vinyl copies of Canticles Of The Sepulchral Deity may be sold out, but it is still available digitally from Grey Matter Productions (preorder here), and will be available on cassette from Les Fleurs du Mal Productions (watch for ordering info here). Until then, check out “She Who Runs With Wolves” below.

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