Roldy’s Blackest ov Bvzzwordz (Volvme I)
(In which my sanity slowly erodes as I Google search BM buzzwords and then choose the first band that comes up in Bandcamp. That is, unless it’s bald-faced Nazi shit, which was woefully abundant at a quick glance.)
Dear Diary O Reviled Grimoire,
I, Kovnt Göatfernö, once more release yov from thy drawer ov socks. I drag yov into the cvrséd bedroom light. Yov will take flight with me this day to Hell’s own fovndry, the infernal pit ov the Home Depot, for I was beseeched by His Majesty ov the Swampvrbia:
“Thy bvllet belt and Iberian mace doth make yovr bracers look so woefvlly vnpointed. Fetch thee some big-ass nails, make that shit look as a porcvpine. Make svre yov reach to the back ov the pallet, to the rvsty ones, tetanvs is kvlt as fvkk.”
Who am I to refvse His calling? I breathe deep ov the wampyric inhaler’s miasmal fvmes, and set forth from the den ov iniqvity (the basement ov 27 Plainville Road). I ventvre ovtside to my 2006 Nissan (a beige beavty I’ve named Grond in honovr ov the ferociovs wolven battering ram ov LotR fame) and drive the key ov horror deep into the ignition chasm. Svmmoning the iPhone from my pocket, I search for E S O T E R I C black metal on Bandcamp.
Damnit, I was supposed to be dunking on nerds here, but Mephorash is fairly successful in creating an esoteric atmosphere. From the Blake-inspired artwork to the reverb-smothered choral passages, this collection of songs is hypnotic and oddly captivating despite the lengthy runtime. The synths are prevalent but unobtrusive—an accomplishment for a genre so often drowning in corny string patches and 10-minute tunes that go nowhere.
Riff-lords might find their minds wandering off during the ambient stretches, but when the tremolos hit, they stand out with densely layered melodies that can only be described as majestic. Shem Ha Mephorash might not be an album I return to often, but I certainly respect the solid musicianship and dedication to their sound: deliberate, haunting and honest.
O Blackened Fields ov Macadam, I cross thee and enter throvgh the portal ov the city ov Dis(hwashers). All arovnd, Thy minions swarm abovt the damned—lost sovls wandering grim and endless aisles. So frostbitten…so Frigidaire®. At last an imp ov sorts approaches, draped in ochre apron; Thomas is his chosen moniker. “Bring me to the implements ov Pontivs,” I implore. He stares, slack-movthed. How I pity him. His intellect (and genetic stock) is obviovsly abysmal.
“Oh yeah, they’re over in the Woodworking section. We have a special running on the galvanized variety. They’re dipped in a protective zinc coating.”
“Very well, peon. Gvide me with the haste ov the infernal winds.”
He rolls his eyes. I mark him for a smattering ov cvrses as I qveve up some O C C V L T black metal.
Behold: The Holy Flesh.
I think I’ve been extremely lucky so far—this doesn’t sound at all like the lo-fi hissing of an album recorded in a barn under a well with an 8-track that had been sawed in half before the recording. (Which of course, took place at night.) What you will hear is somber, mid-paced black metal with nary a blastbeat in earshot. Despite a general sense of eeriness wrung out from open chords and— you guessed it—more reverb than could ever be necessary, there isn’t much that screams “occult” at me. Eyeball on a cup? Ok, sure, occult. Roman numerals in every track name? I guess you might classify that as occult.
I’d have liked to see a little more edge from this tag. Add tambourines or something, I don’t know. The songs begin to blend together very quickly due to a disappointing “one tempo fits all” approach; when “Vessel II” picks up speed in its latter half, the tiny BPM increase feels like riding over a giant speed-bump. With less repetitive structures, Emissary & Vessel could’ve been something memorable; the production is there, the musicianship is there, just make the songs evolve and maybe we can talk later.
“O Mortal they call Thomas, before I release thee from thy chains ov servitvde, answer my last reqvest. Yov have an assortment ov nails, bvt do yov also carry NSBM?”
“Actually, we just got a new shipment in that I think you’re going to love. We’ve got imports from all over the place.”
“Sure, we’ve got some of those. Pure, white as can be.”
“Mmmmm…gvide me, servant.”
The imp tvrns and escorts me betwixt aisles ov toiletries, thrones ov pristine alabaster—I can sense we draw near the qvarry.
“Here we are!”
“NON-SLIP BATHROOM MATS!?!?!?? NNNNNNNOOOO-“