“Post-black metal” is a slippery term, calling up different sounds and moods to different people, and sometimes used simply for want of any better term to characterize music that’s not easily classifiable, but includes blasting drums and tremolo buzzing. Within the musical ambit of that label, it’s always best to listen when you can. And fortunately, we have some listening for you.
This song was crafted by a band who wear the “post-black metal” brand, but with the outlines blurred and blending into other influences as they put their own stamp on their creations. The song is “Astral Bliss” by the Roman quartet Seventh Genocide.
Let’s reverse the usual order of things and provide some impressions of the sound before laying out any further details about the band or the new album that includes this track.
The song is almost 9 minutes long. With an introductory whine of feedback, it bolts from the gate on the pounding hooves of blasting drums, racing riffs, and sky-high acidic shrieks — but with a luminous vibrating melody riding the tumult. A pause of near-silence provides a bridge to a very different energy, a slow, drum-less, introspective passage in which the deep bass and a soulful guitar complement each other, the guitar tuned to sound something like a cross between a clarinet and a saxophone.
When the drum returns, it signals a mounting heaviness, even as that entrancing guitar melody continues to cast its meditative spell. Like the sound of an angry specter, the vocals also return, adding a contrast, and soon the song begins to race again. You feel the wind in your face under a glorious sky, yet still with an ache of wistfulness, perhaps about something precious you once had and couldn’t hold onto. There’s an edge of pain under the exultation.
The song’s combination of surging power, mesmerizing beauty, and unapologetic flexing of emotions, is very appealing. And while the intensity of the opening and concluding segments is exhilarating, it’s that slow mid-section, whose melody persistently lingers, that might be what pulls listeners back most strongly.
And now, the details. Seventh Genocide was first formed in 2006, and their first release took the form of a 2012 demo. A debut album, Breeze of Memories followed in 2015 (through Naked Lunch Records (CD) and Red River Family Records (Cassette)). Their new album, the source of “Astral Bliss”, is named Toward Akina. In the band’s words:
“The concept of the album is focused on death and transcendence from human to spiritual being across the astral planes of existence, analyzing life and love as causes of dissatisfaction and the powerlessness of the human condition in relation to the immensity and the eternity of nature. Those themes take shape through a rich blend of different musical genres and influences. Post-Black Metal played with a ’70s rock taste and contaminated with atmospheric post-rock parts and Pink Floyd-ish psychedelic passages.”
The artwork for Toward Akina was created by Adrian Dexter. The album was recorded by Roberto Mascia, mixed by Rodolfo Ciuffo, and mastered by Mell Dettmer (Sunn O))), Wolvserpent, Earth, Altar Of Plagues, Ash Borer, Thou, Horse Latitude, and many others).
The album will be released on September 22 by Third I Rex in collaboration with WOOAAARGH (Germany) and Chaotic Noise Prayers (Mexico). Hope you enjoy “Astral Bliss”.
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