מזמור (mizmor) – yodh (2016)

i may not be always too picky on my black metal pleasure. some albums grow in me in time or after a couple of listens. some don’t. some are love at first listen. in the case of yodh, the undead voice and wind effects and the first shriek i was already searching the cd at amazon (£65.77? really?).

now, what’s the premise here? the cover. shipwrecked disturbed souls haunting innocent people? we have a.l.n. from urzeit. and urzeit is always fun in their grind approach to black metal. but this is different. a.l.n. is all we have, on extremely thick drone-y guitars, distorted bass, thumping drums, effects and… singing, because that’s the technical term. ranging from guttural to bone-chilling shrieks, he expresses excessive emotional torture, loss, insanity and such sweet tones to the depths of my soul.

the 5 lengthy songs are all structured denying any traditional musical construct. you have a totally unrelated passage as a closer at the opening track or an interlude opening the second, for instance. as expected, we have stretched passages of drone and psychedelic effects. more often than not these are carelessly written and employed as fillers that distract and you end up checking your phone. not here. those moments of “sunn o))) and wormlust meet pink floyd” employ an equal creativity and song writing effort from the part of the sole artist here. and the fact that they end abruptly, before the expected end of scales, to give way to sudden bursts of energy always keeps the listener at the edge of their seat. this structure of interwoven shifts as a whole presents an immense and coherent atmosphere of fear and an overall emotion of despair to the point where you will want to peel of your face with your nails. such joy. at some moments he completely and utterly commands before swaying the melody and / or the tempo in the most unexpected way. at the end of the hour mark, the album speeds up to bring the proceedings to a close in style, after travelling through most of the negative realms of the human psyche.

the sweet despair of loss and a monumental piece of art. black metal is glorious.

Reklamlar

ultha – converging sins (2016)

this is difficult. so difficult to put in words. the sheer joy of such a find. the awe. the urge to stand up while listening. the goosebumps. the jaw drop.

completely random, totally oblivious to what is to come, i came across ultha’s second full-length “converging sins” on my playlist among a series of rather boring releases of late. i would be content enough with an average album but this is monumental. just as we lost greg lake while accumulating all the sad losses of 2016, i was too quick to praise the year’s perfect black metal score as this release came out just as the year was about to close (still not on sale for another week).

ultha are german. of course they are. the five piece scores perfect on sound, atmosphere and performance. but their main strength, in my opinion, lies in their success in integrating the melancholy and theatricality in their music. i somehow get irritated by in-your-face, cheesy, ooey gooey melancholy (or a blatant lean to a particular theme) of some bands, i’d rather not give names. in this case however, there is such a delicious melancholy, the death of a loved one or of love itself, almost in physical form that i can reach out my hand and touch it. yet no cheap tricks, no gimmicks, just plain earnest and graceful sorrow created by the whole experience. also, it is theatrical while not being too dimmu borgir.

the experience takes a little over an hour (still not enough) and the body of work is 3 epic songs around the 15 minute mark. the opener and the last two make use of all the time needed to develop, bleed, reach crescendos and finish off in style. just too many high points to mention actually, but the repetitive orchestral theme of the last song is so gosh darn haunting. we are treated by a mellow female guest session singing coupled by harsh black metal in a tortured second track and a rather short interlude in the third doom song.

and the sound. oh the sound. such a thick, bassy, meaty guitar tone of mostly repetitive strong riffing, topped up with occasional tremolo, arpeggio and leads for the ultimate effect. also, the choice is such a refreshing return to old in a time most black metal bands opt to thin out their guitar tones. this wall is further accentuated by the thick and raw drum sound and much variation; loads of blast beats, double bass drums, war drums and neat slow tempo drumming of superior german engineering. most of the memorable moments are carried thanks to synth chords that fit so beautifully and never overexpose. the dominant black metal singing might take some time. the constant wail of mourning, after an adaptation period just adds to the overall melancholy. we also have a second, more guttural singing and rare chants. lyrical themes are fitting the theme, maybe not literally amazing, but imaginative and thanks for providing them anyways. yes blut aus nord. this is about you.

music is a personal thing. converging sins is a landmark for me. this is my calling. black metal is glorious.

addaura – burning for the ancient (2012)

burning for the ancient is the debut and so far the sole full-length album of the american four-piece addaura. and it is such beautiful music. not particularly ground-breaking or avant-garde as such, but so well executed. all the instruments are well toned and easily audible, yet the overall sound is rather deep, murky and kind of old-school. still, addaura leans toward the newer black metal in song structure and atmosphere. the four songs contain rather simplistic melodies that have ample space to repeat and bleed out, cut timely between slower passages. the drumming carries the music and often stands out to define the melody, thanks to artful cymbal work. the deep and shrieking vocals complement the melancholic atmosphere created, accompanied by the very rare female chanting at the end. the opening track with that haunting theme is definitely my favourite.

burning for the ancient, abd’li dörtlünün ilk ve şimdiye kadarki tek albümü ve o kadar güzel bir müzik ki. black metal’de çığır açan bir albüm değil tabi ki, ama yapmak istediklerini son derece iyi biçimde yansıtıyor. tüm enstrümanlar uygun tonda ve kolayca duyulabilir olmakla beraber, genel ses biraz derin, çamurlu ve eski usul. yine de, addaura, black metal’in daha yeni halini sunuyor. dört şarkı, hakkını verecek süreye sahip, uzunca tekrarlanan basit melodiler ve düzenli, daha yavaş geçişlerden oluşuyor. davul müziği taşıyor ve özellikle sanatkarane zil performansıyla zaman zaman önüne geçip melodiyi belirliyor. derinden gelen çığlıklar, yaratılan melankolik atmosferi tamamlıyor. albümün sonundaki çok kısa kadın vokal geçişi de kayda değer. aynı zamanda albümde bas çalan heidi gruptan ayrılmış. bana musallat olan temasıyla açılış parçası mutlak favorim.

alrakis – alpha eri (2011)

alone in a dark and cold room with the windows open is how this piece of music makes me feel. german one-man project alrakis’ sole album (so far) alpha eri is the perfect album for such a narrow audience. the album masterfully combines the outer space feeling with ambient / atmospheric black metal, topped with sorrow and loneliness; a formula tried numerous times with varying levels of success. the overall sound is deliberately distant, as if from underwater. there is no evident distinction of individual songs, the album is rather like a one lengthy song, starting at low tempo, continuing ever slower and ending at an ambient tone. especially that last track ngc 3242 (ghost of jupiter) is a masterpiece in itself. the minimalistic, repetitive and stretched keyboard leads the music, supported by drone-y riffing and shrieks of anguish and loneliness. however, through all this murky soundscape there is an undeniable beauty. alpha eri is such a rare example of a solid, minimalistic and transcendental black metal piece that engulfs the listener on a trip through the stars and feelings. hats off. 

bu müzik bana soğuk, karanlık ve pencereleri açık bir odada yalnızmışım gibi bir his veriyor. alman tek adam projesi alrakis’in şimdiye kadarki tek albümü alpha eri, çok dar bir dinleyici kitlesi için müziğin doruk noktası. albüm son derece başarılı biçimde ambient / atmosferik black metal içine uzay boşluğu hissinin üzerine üzüntü ve yalnızlık katıyor. bu, aslında defalarca denenmiş ve değişik ölçüde başarılmış bir formül. albüm genel olarak istemli biçimde uzaktan veya su altından geliyormuş gibi bir sese sahip. şarkılar arasında belirgin bir geçiş yok; albüm daha ziyade yavaş bir tempoda başlayıp daha da yavaşlayarak devam eden ve ambient halde biten uzun ve tek bir şarkı gibi. özellikle son şarkı ngc 3242 (ghost of jupiter) bir şaheser. minimalist, tekrarlı ve uzun klavye tonlarının öncülük ettiği müziği drone’umsu riff’ler ve acı ve yalnızlık dolu çığlıklar destekliyor. yine de, bütün bu duygu karmaşası içinde inkar edilemez bir güzellik var. alpha eri dinleyiciyi yıldızlar ve duygular arasında bir seyahate çıkaran, sağlam ve boyut ötesi, nadir bir black metal örneği. şapka çıkardım.

wolves in the throne room – two hunters (2007)

bugün kendimi iyi hissetmiyorum. dün akşam kendi kedimin iki gün önce doğurduğu iki yavruyu kaybettim. o yavruları gömmek çok kötü bir his. bugün de bir türlü kendime gelemedim. sabahtan beri dinlemeye çalıştığım hiçbir şeyi beğenmedim. sonunda bu albüm, içinde bulunduğum ruh haline uydu. her ruh hali için uygun black metal olmalı. duygusal bağ kurduğunuz masum iki yavru kedinin kaybının acısına yakışacak kadar üzüntü dolu bir black metal albümü two hunters. abd’li grubun 2. albümü. bazı albümlerde adet yerini bulsun diye yapılan enstrümantal giriş harika. ardından gelen 3 şarkı da hastalıkta kanepe ve battaniyenin verdiği “huzurla içinde kaybolma hissi” veriyor. şarkıların içinde kayboldukça doom, kadın vokal, orkestra, yağmur, blast beat, nefesliler… gibi geçişler ve varyasyonlarda duraklıyorsunuz. her geçişin, her melodi hatta her notanın tadına vardıran zaman ölçüleri ve düzensiz tekrarlar yeni pek çok black metal grubu gibi wolves’un da bize sunduğu güzellikler. kaybı ve ardındaki umudu yansıtan ve dinleyeni yerden yere vuran 18 dakikalık kapanış şarkısı öne çıkmakla beraber, ben şapkamı uvertüre çıkarıyorum.