Today’s reviews are most focused in the black/atmospheric side of the force (Dysperium, Skyforest and Evergreen Refuge) but with a couple of parentheses as well: the abrasive noise/post-metal of Italy’s MARMO and the more traditional post-metal of Serotonin Syndrome from Finland.
Dysperium – Night of The Howl Winds (USA, 2016)
Here’s something exquisitely sombre and lo-fi-ish, would you ever believe these vocals have been recorded into a forest? Sounds trve, isn’t it!?
The opening tune sounds a bit like WiTTR’s “A Looming Resonance” -on its first notes, at least-, which is probably why “Night of The Howl Winds” caught my attention in the first place. But I’m glad it did.
The whole album is blended in atmospheres, darkness and dilated reverbs. Which is way too good!
MARMO – Inside (Italy, 2016)
A neat debut offered here by MARMO.
Coarse post-metal with noisy traces. Almost instrumental –with few spokens here and there-, but yet so powerful and dense.
Sometimes the production results in a bit metallic and overly flat sound, which should be improved. But song-writing/playing-wise, we are totally there!
The groovy “Expand The Hurt” appears to be strongest track out of “Inside”, FYK.
Serotonin Syndrome – Sarajas (Finland, 2015)
A superb post-metal/rock record…until the vocals start. Well, precisely the high-pitched screams are a bit over the top. They sound like these folks are beating an old woman to death, and she’s just suffering!
Still, the guttural growls are quite good and pleasant instead.
For the rest, the music and the compositions are nice and intriguing, incorporating prog and death metal elements.
If you like post-metal, and you’ll manage to bear with that weird screaming, maybe you’ll fall in love with this album.
Skyforest – Unity (Russia, 2016)
An operatic yet orchestral interpretation of metal. Whether the Russian one-man band’s first opus could still be interpreted as a slight black metal number, it’s definitely too hasty to tell the same about this second one too.
That being said, “Unity” is a delightful evidence of an embracing melancholic work. Even with some (obvious) clichés the album stays fresh and engaging for the entire 40-minute of trail.
Evergreen Refuge – Fungal (USA, 2016)
Dylan Rupe’s Evergreen Refuge has just delivered another hypnotising, profound and tender voyage amongst the very depths of the forest.
“Fungal” resumes the atmospheres and structures of the previous “Earthborn” with a long acoustic track (which has to be split in two parts for digital distribution – so the band claims).
A mind-losing twine of guitars, mandolins, drums and field recordings will carry you to know the world of…the fungal beings.
Personal opinion: one of the most interesting underground artists I’ve been following for the lasts couple of years.