The Round Up Tapes // Submission Edition Volume VIII

Gonemage – Mystical Extraction

After the release of Cara Neir’s Phase Out in February band member Garry Brents (here known as Galimgim) sought to expand on that already well-rounded universe by creating an offshoot to the story, a side-quest if you will, to explore further what happened when their characters were glitched into a land where video games rule (the lore is explained much more succinctly on their bandcamp pages). Mystical Extraction is a work of bizarre electronic pulses, chiptune, black metal, melody and fantasy and it is clear that Gonemage are deeply in love with their subject matter.

“Chained Castle” is a furiously screamed song of wonder – Who am I? Where am I? – and Brents’ voice is a spark in the darkness, whether that’s during rage-fuelled cries or the subtle clean harmonies that peek through towards the end. “Dust Merchant” also utilises those clean lines to bring new dimensions to this character – much like “Shady Blades” on Phase Out which allows the music to exist in the same universe while also standing on its own. This screamo influenced direction is one which Gonemage settles into often and as the music gets more aggressive, then the vocals become more beautiful and melancholic — it’s a wonderful shift in texture and Mystical Extraction is all the better for it.

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The Round Up Tapes // Submission Edition Volume VII

Firstly, I would like to apologise to all of the artists who feature in this edition of The Round Up Tapes. My desire to write has been tempered by life of late and finding the time or even the energy to sit down and form coherent thoughts on music has been something that has been lacking over the last six months or so. I listen to everything that people send me, but I often forget to reply or even miss emails as they fall in the spam folder only to be found several weeks later. I try extremely hard to not be rude but my memory is not the best.

Without further ado, here is the seventh volume of record submissions that have found their way to me.

Asenath Blake – Zoëtic Songs

Zoëtic Songs marks the second foray into the underground of Welsh artist Asenath Blake, who creates a sound that lies where the occult and black metal intersect. Taking inspiration from Austin Osman Spare and Arthur Machen, as well as others well versed in magick, Blake uses her music to channel another world which dances on the fringes of the fire that makes up much of this second EP.

Opening on “Yelda Paterson’s Teachings,” Blake immediately presents a sound that is raw and primeval. Her voice is mixed into synthesised lines and radiant textures that call to mind the sound of post-black metal, yet the music is somewhat removed from that sub-genre in its manic vocal delivery that is affected by unknown power, possessed by the other that has been evoked by the spells and witchcraft that lie at the heart of Zoëtic Songs.

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The Round Up Tapes // Volume XX

Imber Luminis – Same Old Silences

Imber Luminis is one of many projects from Belgian artist Déhà and while his output is incredibly prolific, the work doesn’t seem to suffer so much as become elevated through his preternatural drive to create. Of course, such efforts will sap the energy of the person behind them and so it seems that Imber Luminis, while dwelling somewhere between depressive black metal, atmospheric black metal and doom, deals with feelings of being overwhelmed and of suffering on a more human level. Same Old Silences moves through its horror via two songs that are split into sections, each giving weight and desolation to the next and it’s through these movements that Imber Luminis creates waves of sadness and depression that are so tangible it almost becomes your own.

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The Round Up Tapes // Volume XIX

Andavald – Undir skyggðarhaldi

The black metal scene in Iceland has been thriving for many years and where many projects from the volcanic country are proving their worth with second full lengths and touring the world, Andavald have been slowly curating their sound and biding their time before unleashing their debut upon an unsuspecting scene. Undir skyggðarhaldi is the culmination of years of work with Andavald forming around 2014 but waiting until 2019 to release their music. Their debut is more moderately paced than, say, Sinmara’s work, but it’s no less impactful for it; instead the band use moments of doomed rhythm and slow, drawn out screams to create their darkness. Speed is not of the essence here and for Andavald it is the building of terror, the procession towards finality and the beauty found within the pitch black cosmos that serves Undir skyggðarhaldi the most.

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