French blackgaze pioneers Alcest return with their fifth full-length album Kodama, a dark, ethereal, emotionally resonant concept album about the conflict between man and nature. Kodama channels shoegaze, post-punk, and black metal to incredible effect on one of the best albums this year.
Deafheaven, on the off-chance you are not already aware, are an American metal band. Their 2013 breakout album ‘Sunbather’ won over fans and critics alike with it’s powerful blend of shoegaze, black metal, and post-rock. Deafheaven have always had their fair share of detractors, often focusing on their modern image and general lack of kvltness, but carried on regardless. On New Bermuda they return with a much heavier, darker album than the polarising ‘Sunbather’, truer to their black metal roots yet still daring to experiment in brave ways.
Just thought I’d upload some of the photos I took of the Deafheaven/Marriages show at Scala, London on August 24, 2015. It was a fucking great show, Deafheaven opened with Brought to the Water which led to the most brutal moshpit I’ve ever seen in my life, not something I expected when I booked tickets to a Deafheaven show. Marriages were excellent as well, and I think I preferred their live sound to how they sound on record; they had a much noisier, shoegazier sound and the vocals felt like another layer to their wall of noise. The quality of the photos aren’t great because it was hard to stand still at all during the show but hopefully you enjoy them anyway. There’s also a YouTube channel that recorded their performances of Sunbather and The Pecan Tree in excellent quality.
Sorrow Plagues is a one-man atmospheric black metal/blackgaze project from the UK. Having recently reviewed the new EP ‘An Eternity of Solitude’, I wanted to talk with the man behind it to delve deeper into his music. He was kind enough to speak to me about the themes explored on the EP and more! Continue reading “Interview: Sorrow Plagues”
Much of black metal is a dreary, somber affair: dark, often self-destructive lyrical subjects and aggressive and often deliberately depressive music that doesn’t really leave much room for positivity; Not so with UK one-man black metal project Sorrow Plagues: like many recent atmospheric/post-black metal artists such as Deafheaven, Woods of Desolation, and others, Sorrow Plagues intends on challenging much of the genre’s long-held assumptions about what black metal can or should sound like.
The hazy, shoegazey atmosphere on this EP combined with the raw and noisy production style are a very evocative combination, and under other
circumstances might have sounded totally at home in a far less extreme genre of music. Yet these mask the true feelings this music seeks to channel. It wouldn’t be entirely accurate to describe ‘An Eternity of Solitude’ as a positive album, yet the feelings it evokes are far from the often nihilistic, aggressive ones that black metal artists have traditionally sought to channel. It might be more accurate to say that An Eternity of Solitude channels feelings of hope, despair, and longing for something beyond reach. This is speculation of course, as the lyrics have not been published, but I am speaking to what the emotions this music draw out in me, and what I feel Sorrow Plagues is trying to communicate.