(Andy Synn reviews the debut EP by Seelenmord, which is now available for free download on Bandcamp.)
It’s important to start off your week right. Most of us are heading back to work, and the Monday morning blues can easily get you down. So what better than a slice of darkly melodic, spirit-crushing black metal from Argentina, whose name roughly translates to “Soul Murder”?
And it’s free too!
The five tracks that make up this EP pick and mix a variety of influences from the black metal spectrum, melding the earthen grandeur of primordial Ulver with the relentless dominance of Anaal Nathrakh and the raw ferocity of early Gorgoroth, taking the listener on a wild journey of penitence and paranoia.
Though all the more overt trappings of the genre are present and correct – blitzing tremolo guitars, sacrilegious snare blasts, a raging undercurrent of bile and scorn – it’s the more subtle and artful touches which really make this EP stand out.
Whether it’s the way that the furious blizzard of “The World Cries In Rain” slowly gives way to a climactic display of majestic melody, or the gorgeous strains of classical guitar which provide “At The Edge of the Abyss” with its captivating conclusion, there’s more at work here than a mere expression of pain and fury.
That’s not to downplay the elemental nature of the material on offer though – there’s still something thrillingly visceral about the unrepentant aggression of “Hunters”, or the blistering catharsis of “Beneath The Rubble”, which makes each blazing tremolo run and scorching scream all the more riveting and undeniable.
Indeed, throughout the EP the scarred and scathing vocals display a wrenching anguish which suits the band’s name to perfection. Wounded, feral, and forlorn, they snap and snarl with chilling clarity and bestial power, dancing on the edge of madness.
The whole thing climaxes with the scintillating artistry and seething agony of “Nothing”, whose soaring tremolo guitars and writhing shrieks thunder and roar with frenzied abandon and storm-drenched beauty.
Ultimately …And We Will Find Only Solitude, Part 1 is a captivating snapshot of pain and loss, whose heart-wrenching emotion and hypnotising creativity leaves me breathless with anticipation for the joy and sorrow that part 2 will surely bring.