If you know about the Scottish band Saor, then you know the name Andy Marshall. (And if you don’t know about Saor, self-administer some form of harsh penance and then go listen to Aura and Roots without further dawdling.) As he has already proven with Saor, Mr. Marshall is a very talented musician. Like many talented artists, his creativity isn’t fixed within rigid boundaries — as you’re about to discover.
On February 1, Neuropa Records will release the debut album of Fuath, a new black metal project that Andy Marshall created to express other musical interests. The album bears the simple title “I“. As Andy explains:
“I am a massive fan of hypnotic atmospheric black metal, especially early 90’s stuff like Burzum’s Hvis lyset tar oss, early Darkthrone, and also modern bands such as Paysage d’hiver and Vemod.
“I wanted to create a cold, hypnotic and melancholic black metal album which tried to capture the feelings I felt listening to these bands. I always come back to these types of bands when winter comes along and I feel their sounds are perfect for this time of year, almost kind of spiritual in a way.”
We are very happy to bring you the first advance track from this new album, a song named “Blood“. The song begins in powerful fashion, with an enveloping wall of dramatic riffs and a rocking beat. As Marshall’s caustic howl rises above the maelstrom of sound, a dark melody begins to sink its tendrils into your head, and they take root even more firmly as the driving rhythm slows and the melancholy beauty of the music opens up and becomes even more expansive. It’s as if you’ve raised your eyes from a bonfire in a forest clearing and become transfixed by the vault of stars overhead. (Look again at the wonderful album art by Luciana Nedelea.)
The sweeping, atmospheric arc of the music continues to soar as the drums begin to blast and the blazing riffs become more intense. As the music continues to move forward, there’s room for a breath or two, but only that, before the song reaches its end — an exalted finale that has an air of bleak grandeur even as it segues into another riveting rocking beat and the fires begin to blaze again.
All metaphors aside, this is a hell of a song, and the most tempting of teases for the rest of the album.