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There’s a slow, mournful funeral march coming through the mists, on a still silent plain, on The Buried Storm (Prophecy Productions), the latest release by Darkher. Led by multi-instrumentalist Jayn Maiven, the album at times bears a resemblance to Neurosis or Triptykon at their most quiet and reflective. With each song centred around the vocal layering of Maiven, the instrumentation often stripped to cello and violin backing, it’s an evocative and understated musical landscape. Often bringing to mind Bat For Lashes, one that sings her siren song with a doom folk backing, this is soothing music for people who like it dark.
NOÊTA is a duo based between Norway and Sweden and consisting of multi-instrumentalists Ândris and Êlea, the latter of whom also provides vocals. Their music is an intriguing hybrid of dark folk and dark ambient styles, with just a hint of black metal seeping in around the edges.
Roadburn 2020 is nearly sold out, with just a few Sunday tickets left for the legendary music festival held annually in Tilburg April 16th to 19th, NL. New bands added to the bill Alexis Marshall, Darkher, Forndom, The Devil’s Trade, LSD and The Search For God, Doodswens, Kodian Trio, Jonah Parzen-Johnson, The Sweet Release Of Death, Motor!K, Of Blood And Mercury, and Vonnis. In addition, Ignition, The Roadburn Pre-show party will take place Wednesday night at 013 Club and features Early Graves, Splinter, and The Dead Cvlt. Already announced for Roadburn 2020 are legendary acts such as Emma Ruth Rundle and James Kent as curators, commissioned projects from James Kent & Johannes Persson, Jo Quail, and Vile Creature & Bismuth, the return of Julie Christmas, Red Sparowes, Russian Circles, Torche, Brutus, Dungen, 40 Watt Sun, Alcest, Inter Arma, David Eugene Edwards, Health, Hide, Lankum, She Past Away, and two Artists In Residence: Full of Hell and Lingua Ignota.Continue reading
Atmosphere was the key word at Damnation Festival and back over on the Eyesore Merchandise Stage as Portuguese act Sinistro unleashed a sonic tour-de-force. Though a relatively new act its members hold combined decades of performance experience, and there was something of the avant-garde about this set. Vocalist Patricia Andrade was as forceful in her dancing as she was elegant in her singing, and to top it off she was the beneficiary of carefully arranged lighting that ensured she was almost floodlit while her band mates moved behind and around her in relative shadow. Continue reading
An army of metal heads descending upon the University of Leeds Students Union on a freezing, overcast morning can only mean that it’s time again for the annual earthquake of Damnation Festival. Now in its eighth year at the same venue, and a third year of hosting acts on a total of four stages, this cult event is growing. Unfortunately, its expansion coincides with the revamp of the building it has called home for so long, making this one of the more hectic and claustrophobic episodes in the festival’s history. Continue reading
Although all metalheads seem to love Halloween, I’m sure our friends in the UK and beyond can’t wait for next weekend to get here. That’s because Damnation Festival 2016 s is coming next Saturday November 5th to Leeds University Union, and it’s sure to be a banger. Get prepared with our preview:Continue reading
The premiere UK music festival for the underground, dark, and extreme bands, Damnation Festival has announced the final additions to their lineup, taking place Saturday, November 5th, at Leeds University Union.Continue reading
The Kingdom Field (Prophecy Productions), the 2014 EP from West Yorkshire project Darkher, was at once a thing of beauty and a powerful thrum evoking the bleak moors surrounding the culturally fertile English county. Those fortunate enough to have sampled that release have hankered for an album ever since and thankfully, with Realms (Prophecy Productions), that day has come.Continue reading
The west Yorkshire idyll of Hebden Bridge was on the news a few years ago, highlighted as the lesbian capital of the UK – an unexpectedly contemporary claim to fame for such a quaint, old fashioned town. For the area to produce such explosive, edgy, mournful, and downright fucking sexy folk-rock as this EP from local troubador Jayn Hanna Wissenberg, aka Darkher, is also something of a surprise.
Before The Kingdom Field (Self-released/Independent) arrived in my inbox, I checked some more stripped-down material on YouTube and subsequently asked myself, “Why the hell have we got this?” Within seconds of the breathy, siren-like beginning, I had my answer: the cello. Rasping, calling like a spectre from the sea, it slices through the prickling folk lilt, giving the haunting rhapsody an, albeit brief, violent edge which kicked this listener square in the bollocks. That’s aside, of course, from the eerily beautiful, heart-breaking melody of Wissenberg’s voice, and the sparing guitar slicing through the atmospherics like a primal roar in a desolate field. The judiciously introduced drums of opener ‘Ghost Tears’ accentuate the chilling tambourine with a fearful ease; the whole evoking one of the jerking undead coming for vengeance in a classic horror. Yeah, it’s that good.
The gently-picked acoustic of ‘Hung’ underpins the unbearable hurt in the mellifluous vocal before more cello strains take us to within an inch of sinister euphoria. It’s the ensuing ‘Foregone’ however, where the rock edge really explode with a resonant riff constantly threatening to blow yet always holding back, whilst the drums swell then recede to a seductive, heartfelt sway in a ‘Polly Jean Harvey goes all melodic doom’ style claustrophobia. Look, there is a strong argument as to whether this should really be here on Ghost Cult or not but, basically, this is Myrkur for the ‘Folkies; a haunting, beautiful, teeth-edging horror and it’s utterly brilliant.
Bring me an album, now.