ALBUM REVIEW: NOÊTA – Elm


 

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.

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Holy Fawn – Death Spells


I think Holy Fawn summed themselves up brilliantly with their band summary: “four creatures making loud, heavy, pretty noises”. Combining ambience, walls of distortion and ethereal vocals, Death Spells (Holy Roar) is the embodiment of these contrasting musical textures.Continue reading


Fedrespor – Fra en Vugge i Fjellet


Folk music has a pretty difficult time of it in the modern music scene. Despite being the foundation for almost all popular music genres, it is often considered cliche and archaic when held up against contemporary music, even though elements of the genre resonate throughout popular music. Whether it’s acoustic instrumentation or song structures which are the very backbone of popular music itself, the influence and fundamental importance of Folk music is downplayed or outright neglected.Continue reading


Gridfailure – Irritum


It’s a cruel irony that, for music which is such a personal and unrestrained expression, so much Noise sounds interchangeable. By forcing the player to respond to orthodox patterns, traditional instruments make it much easier to develop a singular “voice” – by making and manipulating their own sounds out of nothing, Noise artists ironically often end up sounding the same as each other.Continue reading


Insect Ark – Marrow Hymns


The thing that everyone always forgets about “Post-Rock” is that it was never intended to be a defined style of music. Essentially journalistic shorthand for “I don’t really know what this is, but they use guitars”, it was a useful semi-label for the otherwise unlabelable until someone decided that it was a genre defined by stroke-inducing levels of boredom and its use in a review became the Touch Of Death for all right-thinking people. Continue reading


ProtoU – The Edge Of Architecture


How important is the theme of a piece of music? To what extent do aesthetic choices (artwork, lyrics, stated concepts) colour the audience’s perception of the sounds? It’s a question that doesn’t frequently get asked in Metal, where the same basic themes are repeated by the majority of bands until they become taken for granted, but Metal-adjacent genres like Dark Ambient can make it seem much more significant.Continue reading


Woods of Desolation – As The Stars


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This one-man metal project that we know as Woods of Desolation comes from the intriguing mind of D., the Australian musician that has been playing an undeniable important role on the Down Under’s underground scene not only with his current project Woods of Desolation, but also with Forest Mysticism and Grey Waters. The road that was started with depressive black metal (the highest point being the debut full-length released in 2008, Toward The Depths) suffered what we can call a big change with the injection of shoegaze and more ethereal environments and soundscapes with Woods of Desolation’s sophomore album, Torn Beyond Reason (released in 2011). Three years after we have the third album which mixes the sounds of Forest Mysticism with the sounds of Grey Waters. It sort of works as a full circle for D., the musician in charge of this new album, As The Stars (Northern Silence Productions). With the help of Vlad from the mighty Ukrainian band Drudkh and the countrymen Luke Mills on bass (Nazxul) and Old on vocal duties (Pestilential Shadows). Having the support and help of other musicians was probably what made this album be so damn rich in terms of guitar layers and tones. Every single track seems to take advantage of D.’s guitar work to levitate and finally rise in a spiral movement that is too fuckin’ strong to be stopped.

 

As Michael Gira (Swans) once told me, the main goal must be to achieve ecstasy. Well, As The Stars doesn’t have a problem achieving ecstasy, but rather a problem to let it go. Like a fuckin’ junkie never satisfied, Woods’ music on this new album is constantly trying to exceed itself. What once was depressive now it seems to be uplifting and hopeful towards positivity. But who really knows? It’s really hard to tell when you’re so fuckin’ high for almost thirty eight minutes and you’re not allowed to stop. Hopefully this album, and this band, will have the due credit and recognition. If you like stuff like Alcest, Lantlôs and Deafheaven… Why the hell would you not give a chance to Woods of Desolation? Don’t be afraid. Jump!

 

8/10

Woods of Desolation on Facebook

 

TIAGO MOREIRA