AN NCS ALBUM PREMIERE (AND A REVIEW): RINGARË — “UNDER PALE MOON”
Ringarë is the name of a project that was started 14 years ago by Chaos Moon‘s mainman Esoterica. A debut album was recorded, but never released. Instead, half the music from that recording session became part of Chaos Moon‘s second album, Languor Into Echoes, Beyond (2007). The other half is now going to be released on March 8th by Iron Bonehead Productions with the title Under Pale Moon.
“Pure worship of synth-ridden black metal of the early ’90s” is the way the music is described in the press sheets. “Moonlit magick” is another phrase that appears in the album’s promotional material, and that description is spot-on. While the shrieked vocals are mind-abrading and the drum and bass rhythms have a way of hooking into your pulse, it’s those mystical midnight melodies and ethereal keyboard notes that will carry you aloft into cold and starry skies, mesmerized.
The album consists of four tracks and 40 minutes of music, and today we have a full stream for you, preceded by a few more thoughts about the dark and delirious enchantments of this experience.
The glamours of the music are manifold, presenting contrasts of striking vibrancy. The corroded sounds of the stringed instruments and the wild shrieking vocals raise visions of constricting thorns closing about a howling throat, a conjunction of cruelty and wretchedness. There is also potent physicality in the drumming, which is ever-changing in its patterns and energies — battering and thundering one moment, bounding in a lively beat the next, then slowly marching in a stately processional rhythm the next, or vanishing altogether, to allow the sweep of the keyboards to carry you away into realms of wonder.
Even when the drum rhythms are turbulent, the bass provides a kind of moodiness and meditativeness in its tone and pace, though it often enhances the vibrancy of the music’s surging energies. But the greatest contrast to the music’s pulse-pounding physicality and the unhinged, ear-shredding extravagance of the vocals comes from the glistening synth melodies, though they too portray changing moods and shifting visions.
In the mind’s eye, the music unveils endless depths of darkness adorned with the mesmerizing shine of celestial bodies, twinkling and glimmering like jewels on a blanket of black velvet. The synth melodies also pull the imagination into frigid wastelands shrouded in mist, where death awaits the heedless. Sorrow dwells in other midnight landscapes portrayed in these sounds, places made sodden by tears and haunted by crushed souls.
The mysticism at the core of the music easily provokes such otherworldly visions — otherworldly in many senses of the word, from what we can see far above us in night skies to what might be watching and waiting for us in a spirit realm. But it might just as easily be interpreted as capturing the awe-inspiring marvels and pitiless perils of the natural world — in the words of the album’s vast closing track, presenting a journey through forest and fog.
Either way, these four tracks are enthralling, to the point of making it easy to lose track of time, and of your own cares and concerns, unmoored from the mundane and transported.
Under Pale Moon will be released by Iron Bonehead on LP and CD. Look for it on March 8th.
You guys have been on fire today! Thanks for the heads-up on all this delicious music in this and other posts )
Agreed. great posts yesterday too! That “Aara” album is solid. I’m excited about this Ringarë release. Esoterica continues to impress.
Thanks guys. Metal in 2019 is definitely off to a very strong start.
Over at AMG reviewers seem to no think so…Lots of scores in the 2 – 2.5 range and I have to say Im in accordance with most of those scores. Then again, there are more different kinds of metal in their promo bin….
I think you have to take AMG reviews with a large spoon of salt. One too many wayward souls over there.
THIS. IS. SPECTACULAR.
THAT WOODCUT ARTWORK.
THOSE SUBHUMAN SCREAMS AND CRIES.
This is god awful. Par for the course as far as anything Alex Poole does LOL on a label that releases products instead of art. The WalMart of Metal HA. But hey at least the song titles are super original…