The Round Up Tapes // Volume X

ColdWorld – Autumn

coldworld

The eight years since ColdWorld’s debut Melancholie² has only served to increase the attention on Georg Börner’s one man project, and while the somewhat enigmatic German hadn’t outright said the band was over, the hope for a follow-up dwindled with each passing year. Melancholie²  is a record that speaks of emptiness, despair and sadness and is often deemed a starting point for anyone interested in depressive black metal. It’s by no means perfect, but the atmosphere that is captured is one of an artist using his medium to guide him through moments of anguish and with new record, Autumn, that feeling is wrought in ever more stunning ways.

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The Round Up Tapes // Volume IX

Deathspell Omega – The Synarchy of Molten Bones

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Originally scheduled for release on November 8th, the extremely reclusive and mysterious sect of Deathspell Omega uploaded the record to bandcamp late on Halloween evening (or afternoon depending on your timezone) sending their fans into a rush to listen and consume. Having not released any new music for four years, and announcing The Synarchy of Molten Bones with little fanfare or warning, the stealth tactics used by the French band suit their style – both in sound and in action. Chaos reigns on this first full length since 2010 and in bringing forth utter destruction, the band call upon the unholy in order to move through and explore the outer limits.

Deathspell Omega’s brand of black metal is one that is often imitated – a discordant array of sounds meld into one swirling vortex that is difficult to pierce on first glance – but never bettered. It’s easier to allow the music to sink into your bones and truly become one with the mind than try to find an entry point in the chaos and that’s something that has established DsO as true masters of their field.

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The Round Up Tapes // 2014 Was Bleak Edition

This third edition of The Round Up Tapes features a couple of records I really enjoyed this year that are particularly bleak in sound and/or aesthetic. Because that’s the MO of this blog and who doesn’t like to feel bleak now and then?

Black Autumn – Losing The Sun

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Black Autumn have been featured on Bleak Metal once before, when the wonderful The Advent October was released at the beginning of 2013. That EP was very much a favourite of last year and so when a full length arrived, excitement abounded. Losing The Sun follows its predecessor in that the melancholy rhythms and soft touches of light filter through the darkness of the sound, yet the record also steps up and forward in terms of the emotional response that is elicited from the listener.

“Losing The Sun” begins the album with huge, sweeping guitar movements that give way to M. Krall’s rasping voice and echoing passages that create a tangible sense of deep, mournful regret. The softer edges of this first track are soon ravaged by the harsh tones of “St Elm’s Fire” that signal its approach. Those hard moments are countered by sorrowful guitar lines that cascade into the song and lift it past just being a wallowing, sadness-filled pit of despair and instead into music that  provokes and intrigues.

This one man project brings much to the black metal table in the music that is created as Black Autumn. Gorgeous instrumentation moves across the work as a whole with the piano sections in particular giving a stately grace to “From Whence We Came” and in turn the song breathes with a measured acceptance that the journey is full of pain and heartache. The electronic pulses of “The Distance” shows that much beauty can be found in utter desolation and Black Autumn is a project for which this adage rings wholly true.

Losing The Sun, along with the Black Autumn catalogue, can be found on bandcamp.

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Woods of Desolation – As The Stars

Woods of Desolation’s incredible Torn Beyond Reason from 2011 was a definite highlight of that year and its cold, harsh soundscapes made for a record which evoked a journey into the depths of winter – quite the feat considering they’re an Australian band but one that was deftly handled and sorrow-laden in all the right places. The Woods of Desolation of 2014 is an altogether different animal, with sole member D. eschewing Tim Yatras’ (Germ, Autumn’s Dawn, ex-Austere) recognisable shriek for another voice and thus creating an atmosphere that feels considerably warmer in tone, but no less harrowing for the change.

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Black Autumn – The Advent October

A couple of weeks of ago a gent by the name of M.Krall sent me a lovely email asking whether I’d be interested in his project Black Autumn – I of course, said yes, and in the back of my mind there was this niggling feeling that I’d heard this band before. Fast forward a few hours and a digital copy of The Advent October arrived and in turn I checked my collection and hey, there was a couple of Black Autumn things there.

Black Autumn has been steadily releasing ever since Krall incepted the band a long, long time ago, although it wasn’t until 2003 that any music was actually put out. Demo upon EP upon full length – the last one I heard was Rivers of Dead Leaves which was released in 2008, but I happened across it on the wonderful bandcamp a year or so ago (incidentally, bandcamp is where M.Krall found a link to this blog and then my email address and the rest is history etc…) – followed at quite a pacy rate and now we have The Advent October to add to a growing collection of beautifully downbeat melancholy.

Black Autumn - The Advent October - Cover

M.Krall – everything

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